The documentation of the treasure unearthed at the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple last year began Monday morning with a joint meeting of the two committees appointed by the Supreme Court.
One of the committees is headed by MV Nair and the other by Justice (retd) M N Krishnan. Both committees comprise representatives from the Kerala government, the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore who are the official custodians of the temple, and experts in this field.
According to earlier reports, the temple is believed to have a treasure trove of precious jewels which is estimated to be worth more than Rs.one lakh crore, making it the richest temple in the world.
In all, there are six vaults in the temple of which five have been opened based on a petition filed by a former IPS official T.P. Sundararajan. It was in July last year that the Supreme Court-appointed committee stumbled upon the treasure from vault A which had remained unopened for more than 150 years.
A committee member told IANS that the first step would be to open vault C. Each item would be videographed, a bar code placed on it and then the valuation would be made.
"State-of-the-art-equipment from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is being used and state-owned Keltron is coordinating the valuation. It is going to take a long time for this process to be completed and the entire valuation operation will be monitored by officials sitting in a control room set up inside the temple premises," said a member who did not wish to be identified.
On Feb 9, a trial stock-taking was done and Nair had expressed satisfaction at the way it was done and had announced that the original valuation would begin today.
"The E and F vaults would be documented today. Then, an interim report would be submitted to the court and only then the stock taking would be done on vault A. With regards to vault B, it would be the decision of the apex court," added the member.
Incidentally, Sundararajan passed away last year and another co-petitioner also passed away early this month.