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Kerala temple: Still no clue on real worth

Kerala temple: Still no clue on real worth

A year later, the inventorying is still on, security an ever-debated topic and the temple a much-googled item.

Thiruvananthapuram: It was exactly a year ago that Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple revealed its treasures to the world. What was only a myth till then turned into reality, leaving the devotees, public and the government guessing about the wealth and the security of the temple. A year later, the inventorying is still on, security an ever-debated topic and the temple a much-googled item.

Presently, the expert team engaged in inventorying is making use of a gem-tester from Germany trying to value the riches in the vaults. There is also a debate raging as to whether the CD of the video recordings of the inventorying should be stored in the temple or moved to a bank locker.

The meeting of the expert committee and overseeing committee, scheduled for June 29, might throw up an answer to the dilemma. Temple executive officer V K Harikumar, also a member of the expert committee, confirmed that the issue will be included as an agenda in the upcoming meeting. ”The issue over storage of CDs would be one among the many other topics that will be discussed,” he said.

The meeting, to be attended by members of both the committees, would decide on whether to shift the CDs to bank locker or keep them in the storage room of the temple, where they are currently being kept.

There is the question as to what is dragging the inventorying into weeks and months. Officials say that the court directive to finish the procedure within a year is unlikely to happen. ‘’We started a little late,” says the temple treasure panel head Dr M V Nair.

Apart from delayed inventorying, security issues are also creating a headache for the officials. The security officials had, earlier, suggested to the expert committee to cut down the number of exit and entrance points from five to two, as setting up surveillance in all the five points was a herculean task. “This suggestion still remains on paper. But sudden action can’t be taken as the issue is very sensitive,” said Harikumar.

But Temple Security Wing Assistant Commissioner A Sasikumar challenged Harikumar and said that such a suggestion was dismissed at the first instance itself. “The matter relating to belief and tradition has to be handled sensibly. The suggestion to reduce the number of entrance and exit points has been dropped and we are planning to install more radars and surveillance equipments at all the entrance points,” he said.

first published:June 27, 2012, 12:59 IST