Meenakshi Amman Temple: Chief minister M Karunanidhi has directed immediate repairs to the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple in Madurai, following representations by the temple authorities that the eight centuries old magnificent edifice had developed cracks and fissures. Following the chief minister’s order a technical expert visited the temple on Thursday and inspected the cracks and a high level committee led by the HR and CE minister Karuppasamy. HR and CE secretary  Karpoorasundarapandian and commissioner P Pichandi is expected to visit the temple on Friday.

During the recent visit of the chief minister, some prominent devotees of the temple led by Mr Karumuthu T Kannan, the chairman of the board of trustees called on the chief minister and made representations about the condition of the temple. Mr Kannan showed photographs of the pillars and sections of the walls of the temple, where the cracks had developed. He told the chief minister that it was imperative that the damage should be rectified immediately since the cracks were widening.
According to Mr Kannan, he informed the chief minister about the work of the committee and mentioned that cracks and fissures had developed in some pillars and parts of the walls of the Meenakshi Sundareswar temple, particularly those around the Golden Lotus Pond.

It was the view of the committee that the reason for cracks in the pillars and walls was due to lack of water in the legendary golden lotus pond. During the past 20 years, only about a foot or half a foot of water was stored in the tank. Ten years ago, the floor of the tank was paved with concrete as there was considerable seepage and evaporation. The concrete flooring prevented water seeping into the ground, which may have also led to the building developing cracks.  After listening to his representation, the chief minister directed the constitution of an experts committee to examine the cracks and to recommend immediate measures to repair. Mr Karunanidhi also assured the devotees that this work would be undertaken immediately.

The temple authorities also confirmed that the government had ordered the constitution of the experts committee of architects and that repair work would start soon. Temple sources say that the cracks on the temple walls has been there for more than 40 years. Temporary measures had been undertaken like placing supports, but this is the first time that it has been taken to the notice of a chief minister for permanent solutions, they said.