THRISSUR: After a gap of 16 years, the issue of 'beautification' and building structures on Vadakkumnathan Temple Ground (Thekkinkkad Maidanam) situated in the heart of Thrissur Town has again become a hot topic of debate.
The temple and the ground spread across 64 acres are under Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB) and maintained by Thrissur Corporation.
The CDB had come up with a proposal of setting up a periphery pathway, amphitheatre, a navarasa mandapam (to conduct art and cultural events), an installation modelled on chessboard and pawns, benches for elders to take rest among other 'beautification' projects.
The proposal of the CDB soon attracted the ire of a section of the devotees and Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswom Boards which conduct the annual Thrissur Pooram event here.A presentation of the consultant chosen for the work was held at the hall of the shopping complex owned by CDB near its head office here on Saturday in the presence of Devaswom ombudsman P. R. Raman as per the direction of the High Court.
"The beautification works will be restricted to constructing ramps around trees, open theatre, pathway among other proposals. If there are any permanent or semi-permanent structures in the plan is yet to be finalised. We will do the beautification only with the consent of HC," CDB assistant commissioner in Thrissur A. Padmakumar said.
He also said after the presentation, the petitioners (total three) and impleading parties (Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms) could submit their response in writing to the ombudsman at his office in Kochi on July 5.
Later, the ombudsman will file the report on the hearings it conducted to the HC.However, both Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms, greens and Hindu groups are dead against the proposal for any construction on the temple ground citing that there were HC orders on the same starting from 1993 to 2003 which says no concrete construction by digging the soil on the temple ground should not be allowed.
"There is a court order in 1993 that says the ground is considered as the 'jada' hair of the deity of the Vadakkumnathan temple situated in the centre of the ground inside the temple wall and if the HC allows any construction by removing the soil on the temple ground, I will further take up the matter legally. I see it as a proposal to take away a huge amount of soil from the ground which as per the court order needs to be protected as a botanical garden," said green activist and general secretary of the Heritage Animal Task Force, V. K. Venkitachalam.