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Remove illegal constructions around Srirangam temple

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A public interest litigation petition was filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday seeking a direction to remove constructions built in violation of a government order around the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam.

The petitioner, A. Magudeswaran of Karur, claimed that a number of buildings had mushroomed near the temple, built in violation of a government order of 1997. The order had specifically stated that no building within one km radius of the temple should be constructed exceeding a height of nine metres.

However, as many as 73 buildings that stood within a 100-metre radius of the temple, on the Uthra and Chithirai streets were in violation of the order. Beyond the 100-metre mark too, several commercial establishments and houses were built in violation of the order.

Out of the 73 buildings, 63 were built after the 1997 came into force. The district authorities had turned a blind eye to the blatant violation of the order, he allege. The GO was issued in a bid to ensure safety and security of temple structures across the State. Buildings constructed in violation of the GO posed a threat to the temple structure and those that were under construction should be stopped, he said. The petitioner said that if appropriate action was not initiated, the temple could face a situation similar to that of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai, recalling the temple fire incident.

He sought an interim injunction against the buildings under construction and the appointment of an advocate commissioner to ascertain the extent of buildings constructed in violation of the GO.

A Division Bench of Justices M. M. Sundresh and N. Sathish Kumar directed notice to the Tiruchi district and temple authorities and adjourned the case by four weeks.

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