It has to be moved for widening of highway
Residents of Azhinjivakkam, near Janapanchathiram, on the Chennai-Tada route want the Silambathamman temple shifted inside the village.
They want it to remain near the present location and not be moved to an interior place off the main road where it cannot be accessed by everyone. The temple has to be moved since it is in the way of the widening of the National Highway.
M. Bhaskaran, former panchayat president of Azhinjivakkam, said though the present structure was not old, the deity was very old and several generations had performed puja to the goddess.
“The suggestion is that we permit the temple to be moved to another place. But it happens to be outside the limits of our village. This cannot be allowed. Silambathamman is our ellai deivam and we are sentimentally attached to her,” he said.
Another resident said the land on which the temple stood had been registered as temple poromboke of the Arulmigu Silambathamman temple and not in the name of the deity as it is the case with other temples. “This is a hurdle in this case, which is why despite one person agreeing to gift land to the temple, they are unable to move it. The National Highways Authority of India, which needs the land for widening, must ensure the required money is provided for temple land and construction at the new site,” he said.
A source in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department said the Department was ready to move the deity to any location that the people wanted and construct a temple there.
“We cannot go against the wishes of the devotees. According to religious tenets, the temple also cannot be shifted to a smaller piece of land. It should either be larger in size or at least similar. The adjacent neem tree is very much part of the temple,” he said.
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