Kochi: For the first of its kind, a devotee has offered to donate a whopping Rs.500 crore to the famed Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple in Kerala. The offering is for the development of facilities in the temple and in the temple town. The Bhagavathy temple, under the Cochin Devaswom Board, is situated in the outskirts of Kochi city and it is a major short-stay worship centre along the Sabarimala pilgrimage route.
Gana Shravan, a Bangalore-based businessman who heads Gana Shravan Companies has made the offering. Though the temple got the donation offer a year ago, they tabled the proposal before the Devaswom Board. But the Board didn’t take any further measures considering the huge amount of donation and the complex procedures involved in receiving it.
The businessman, who has been into gold and diamond business, was in deep crisis a few years ago when his guru advised him to visit Chottanikkara temple. After visiting the temple he started getting good fortunes in business. Since 2016, he has been visiting the temple regularly, reports regional media.
Meanwhile, Cochin Devaswom Board secretary V.A Sheeja told DC that the Board has not taken a final decision on the matter and the details of modalities on receiving the donation are being worked out. “The file is being prepared and I can’t comment on details like when and how to receive the donation,” she said.
The Board has taken up the matter with the state government and based on the talks, it is planning to approach the High Court to get approval for receiving the huge funds. Getting clearance from the High Court will help the Board in avoiding any legal complications and controversies in the future. The Devaswom Board has already ensured the credentials of the business group.
A preliminary project proposal has already been prepared under which series of development works will be carried out. Construction of two gopurams (entrance tower), renovation of parking ground, construction of marriage hall, modernisation of Navrathri mandapam, construction of ring road and waste treatment plant are proposed using the offering. Since development works which come under the purview of the local body are also proposed the Board and temple authorities will take up the project in consultation with Chottanikkara grama panchayat authorities, sources said.
Waste management has been a major issue in Chottanikkara and the Rs.5 crore Chottanikara temple town project conceptualized in 2015 is yet to take off. Under the three-phased development project, development of link road to the temple, installation of solar lights and panels, setting up sewage treatment plant and construction of enough parking facility were proposed....