HC sets up two-member advocate commission on temple issue
Madurai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday appointed a two-member advocate commission to probe violations in the construction of buildings around the famous Meenakshi temple in this city.
A Division bench of Justice V Sudhakar and Justice S Vaidhyanathan directed the advocate commissioners to file their report before January 31.
A PIL had been filed seeking an interim injunction not to permit any construction surrounding the Meenakshi temple.
In the PIL, A S M Kumar, an advocate, sought a direction to implement a government order passed in 1997 prohibiting construction of buildings exceeding a height of nine metres within the area bounded by outer walls of the temple from four `Masi` streets (North Masi, East, South and West).
The petitioner said the government had passed the order for the purpose of protecting the temple gopurams, with guidelines not to put up constructions beyond 9 metres.
"It is increasingly becoming difficult to have a clear look at the heritage towers of the temple. Unless the restrictions are strictly enforced, soon people may have to come to their rooftops to have a look at these towers," the PIL said.
It claimed that police too had objected to construction of some high-rise buildings around the famous temple, but it was not known whether they had been constructed with permission or without permission.
Though the Central government repeatedly insisted on security of famous historical monuments, the state government did not take any effective steps, it alleged.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Madurai Corporation said the corporation was taking steps to check if any construction was made in violation of height restrictions.