Residents of Nochikuppam oppose temple demolition
More than 300 Nochikuppam residents sat down through Friday night to make sure the Sri Ganga Bhavani Amman temple along Loop Road was not demolished.
They shouted slogans urging the state government to stop the proposed demolition. They brought catamarans and formed a kind of wall on the road to protect the temple from demolition.
And their blockade paid off as officials from the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB), the police and the tax authorities, who had gone to the fishing village to tear down the temple, agreed to await the outcome of the legal proceedings. .
“They were implicated in the file filed by a resident of the village declaring that the temple was an encroachment. But as their petition was numbered, we agreed to wait and notify the Madras High Court of the developments,” a senior council official said.
K. Bharathi from Nochikuppam said that the temple has existed for more than 50 years and it was definitely there in 2014 when the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (currently TNUHDB) demolished their old houses to build new blocks. “It’s on the plan. We will accept final orders from the High Court. But as residents, we believe our religious rights are being violated. The temple is not an encroachment. It was built with contributions from locals. Besides the Amman shrine, there are shrines for Lord Vinayaka and Navagraham in the temple,” he said.
Kabaddi Maran, another resident, said the state government, headed by Chief Minister MK Stalin, had done a lot for the temples. “Since we were not consulted before the Court made the orders, we now hope that the judges will be lenient with our feelings. The government too should help us, ”he added.