K'taka native’s offer to Kerala temple hangs in balance

Karnataka native’s Rs 526 crore offer to Kerala temple hangs in balance

The devaswom ombudsman is insisting on the source of funds for taking the project forward

Chottanikkara Temple. Credit: Wikimedia/Flickr/Roney Maxwell.

Development project to the tune of Rs 526 crore offered by a devotee hailing from Karnataka to a temple in Kerala is hanging in balance as the credibility, especially the fund source, of the person has come under scanner.

Gana Shravan hailing from Chikkaballapur had made the huge offer for the Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, around ten kilometres from Kochi city about an year back. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had held talks with Shravan recently and it was decided to take forward the project after getting concurrence of the Kerala High Court’s Devaswom bench.

In the meantime, several complaints were received by the government and the devaswom authorities about the sources of the fund of Shravan, who claims to be involved mainly in the trade of gold, diamond and rare metals and director of SwaamyG companies. Hence, the devaswom ombudsman is now insisting on the source of funds for taking the project forward, especially since Shravan said that the funds would be brought from abroad through a company registered here about a year back, Munnangi Infrastructure Private Limited.

Devaswom Board secretary V A Sheeja told DH that the Shravan’s proposal was pending legal scrutiny. Government sources said that the sources of funds were still remaining quite mysterious and several complaints had also come up. Hence the matter was being dealt with utmost caution.

Shravan told DH that he had sought 60 days time for furnishing details of the source of funds. He also said that the project was being delayed unnecessarily on the basis of baseless complaints and suspicions.

Meanwhile, government sources said that since it was a matter concerning a temple, the Left front government was being highly cautious in handling it to avoid any embarrassments in the future.

Shravan said that he made the huge offer as he received all prospects in business after coming down to Chottanikkara temple about five years back. He had proposed renovation of temple, construction of new gopurams (entrance), constructing a marriage hall, waste treatment plant, setting up parking facility and developing the roads leading to the temple. A hospital in the locality is also under consideration.

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