Chennai: Hailing the state government's decision on initiating fire and safety audit for special grade temples, the Tamil Nadu Kovil Pusarikal Nala Sangam has demanded similar mechanism for all temples that come under the control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department.
"If fire accident could happen in one of the biggest temples in Tamil Nadu, where there is manpower and sufficient facilities, just imagine the condition of temples that do not earn revenue in crores or lakhs but manage with meager income annually. So, the fire and safety audit should be made mandatory for all the nearly 38,000 temples under the ambit of the HR & CE," says P. Vasu, state president of Kovil Pusarikal Nala Sangam. He was instrumental in raising this issue shortly after the fire mishap at the renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwar temple, earlier this month.
Though the move by the State government to introduce provision for audit is laudable one, it should be ensured that the audit is carried out by an independent agency, which should come under the direct control of the Chief Minister, he suggested. Also, steps should be taken to provide fire-fighting equipment for all the temples. Periodic inspection by senior officials would go a long way in keeping the staff alert and ensure a state of preparedness.
Speaking to this correspondent on Wednesday, he said the government should provide adequate financial allocation for providing the fire-fighting equipment for the temples. "Safety is of great concern even in the temples situated in remote and far flung areas of Tamil Nadu and hence sufficient precautionary measures should be taken to prevent any fire mishap in future," Mr Vasu added.