KOZHIKODE, INDIA, July 29, 2013 (The Hindu): Temples under the Malabar Devaswom Board and various other private trusts in north Kerala will benefit from a total government aid of US$1.3 million to undertake renovation.
The distribution of funds, through the offices of five Devaswom Assistant Commissioners, which was formally inaugurated by M.K. Raghavan, MP, here on Sunday, will be completed in the Malabar region within a couple of weeks. The board officials said the renovation package would include the amount sanctioned by the government in 2011-12 and 2012-2013 financial years. Though the fund was sanctioned, it was not distributed in the previous fiscal.
In the first phase, 965 temples were selected for the aid. The list included no fewer than 62 temples managed by backward communities. In the second phase, 829 temples, including 244 privately controlled ones, were considered for the aid. Over 45 temples managed by the backward communities, which were badly in need of financial support for renovation work, were considered for the aid.
Malabar Devaswom Board Commissioner K. Chandran said the government considered the requests from all needy temples equally, which even included temples controlled by local temple committees and families. "The total renovation fund sanctioned by the government in 2011-12 financial year was US$577,000, which rose to US$742,000 the next fiscal," he said.
Temples that suffered damages in unexpected calamities in the Malabar region were also covered in the relief package. The largest amount was sanctioned for the Ayyappa temple at Chamravattom that suffered huge damage in a fire accident in March 2013. A portion of the roof of the temple building had gutted in the incident.