Year-long documentation of Kerala temple begins

Supreme Court to be petitioned for opening C vault as well

Year-long documentation of Kerala temple begins

The documentation of the treasure trove discovered  at Sree Padmanabhaswami temple here in Kerala began on Monday.

A 15-member team initiated the work in the morning by listing antiques in the presence of members of the expert committee deputed by Supreme Court of India and a supervisory committee. Those participating in the documentation include officials of the public sector Kerala Electronics Development Corporation, Isro and Archaeology Department of Kerala. A control room has been opened in the temple for the purpose.

A huge treasure valued at more than Rs 1 lakh crore had been discovered in the cellars of the temple recently following an inspection on the direction of courts. The Supreme Court had ordered that the wealth be documented by an expert committee.

As part of the documentation, listing of antiques in E and F vaults of the temple is being done now. Though earlier it had been decided that the C vault would be opened first, it could not be done as the vault had been sealed by the Thiruvananthapuram sub court. Subsequently, it was decided to open other vaults first. It has also been decided to file an appeal before the apex court to allow opening of C vault.

Action plan

Now, weight, purity and age of each article in the vaults are being recorded on computers. This is being done in accordance with an action plan prepared by Thiruvananthapuram-based public sector Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT).

The antiques were taken out of vaults and shifted to a special room inside the temple for listing. The antiques are being listed under three heads namely: i) those with antique value, ii) those which are necessary for the temple affairs and iii) those which have only asset value. State-of-the-art equipment, including purity analyser and cameras for taking three dimensional photos, have been readied.

After details of a fixed number of articles are recorded, the supervisory committee will review the process. Listing will start at around 10 am every day and end at 5 pm. Security has been beefed up in the temple for the documentation.

The value of the articles will be assessed later. This is likely to be carried out in the presence of officials of Reserve Bank of India. The whole documentation and valuation process is expected to take one whole year.

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