Following complaints of poor management and lack of facilities at various old temples across the Capital, Delhi government is mulling to form a shrine board.
Senior officials in the Delhi government said most temples do not have a trust or an agency to oversee the management, which is resulting in poor upkeep of the temple and its finds and lack of basic amenities to thousands of visitors everyday.
Officials said the government has two ministers - PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan and industry minister Ramakant Goswami - to work out a plan in this regard. While there are hundreds of big and small temples in Delhi, Goswami said there are at least six temples - Kalkaji temple, Hanuman Mandir at Connaught Place, Hanuman Mandir near Yamuna Bazaar, Jhandewalan Mandir, Gauri Shankar Mandir opposite Red Fort and Siddh Peeth Yogmaya in south Delhi - that need proper management.
"The NDMC spent more than Rs. 6 crore on redevelopment of the Hanuman Temple near CP but there is hardly any improvement. A Shrine Board would not only help providing better facilities to devotees but would also ensure that the temple staff gets proper wages, the assets of the temples including its land are properly managed and there is a uniformity among all temples in announcing dates and timings of various festivals," Delhi industry minister Ramakant Goswami said.
Goswami gave examples of the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Sheetla Mata temple in Gurgaon which are now managed by the Shrine Boards. He, however, added that the proposal was still at a very nascent stage.
Goswami added that various stakeholders had proposed formation of a shrine board at All India Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sammelan held in 2010 at FICCI auditorium, which was also attended by Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit.
Meanwhile, Delhi chapter of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has asked the government to stay away from the management and assets of temples.
"Delhi government is trying to take over the temples in the name of forming a Shrine Board. This is unacceptable and we will protest against it," Delhi Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Satyendra Mohan said in a press statement.