'Muzrai temples not following govt guidelines'

'Muzrai temples not following govt guidelines'

“Temples coming under Muzrai Department are not following government guidelines while auctioning temple stalls. This has resulted in a loss to the state exchequer,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar.

He was speaking at a meeting on security aspects in temples held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim on Tuesday.

Kumar said that, while fixing the rent for the stalls, the guidelines are not adhered to. “The roaster system is not followed while auctioning the stalls. Before auctioning the stalls, the valuation of the space should be carried out by the PWD. In fact, majority of the temples have failed to call tenders by issuing paper notification for auctioning the stalls,” said the officer.

He said the Kukke Subrahmanya temple has three stalls, including two near the main temple. “In 2015-16, two stalls near the main temple were auctioned for Rs 72.77 lakh and Rs 65.67 lakh while the stall at Adi Subrahmanya was auctioned for Rs 54.56 lakh. This year, when the authorities decided to go for the tender process to auction the stalls, however, those who were running the stalls approached the government and got the stalls approved with a hike of 10 per cent in rent. The district administration has objected to it, citing it as illegal. The administration has also written a letter to the Endowment Department, stating that the temples are losing income by not following guidelines. All the proposals on auctioning the stalls sent by the ‘A’ and ‘B’ category temple authorities to the Jilla Dharmika Parishat have been sent back by the Parishat, by fixing a meagre rent for the stalls,” he added.

Marriage in temples
The officer said that the temples coming under the Muzrai Department are not adhering to the guidelines of the government while conducting marriages. No register is maintained at the temples while booking marriages. Apart from this, as per the guidelines, marriage should be booked by both bride and groom’s parents. Age certificate of the bride should be collected at the time of marriage, to ensure that no child marriage take place in temples.

Action plan
Kumar said that all the temple whose annual income is above Rs 1 crore should submit a master plan to provide basic facilities to the devotees. “The budget of the temples should be approved before March 31 – however, only 17 out of 40 ‘A’ category temples and five out of 25 B category temples have submitted their budget to the authorities for approval so far. All the development works in temples worth above Rs 5 lakh should be called through e-procurement system,” he added.

He said that auditing of the income and expenditure of all the A, B and C category temples in Dakshina Kannada district should be completed by August 31.

Superintendent of Police Bhushan G Borase said that all the temples should install burglar alarms with independent batteries back with concealed wiring. “The alarm should be heard for a distance of half a kilometre. CCTV cameras should not face the light. The criminal antecedent of the security guard should be verified with the police, while recruiting them,” he instructed, adding, “The temple authorities should seek prior permission from the police and the Revenue Department while bursting crackers during the temple fair.”
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