'Treasure found is temple asset'
The Congress-led UDF Government today said the huge wealth found from the cellars of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here was the asset of the shrine and could not be termed a 'treasure trove'.india Updated: Jul 12, 2011 18:02 IST
The Congress-led UDF Government today said the huge wealth found from the cellars of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here was the asset of the shrine and could not be termed a 'treasure trove'.
The statement, by Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar in the Assembly, came in the wake of some quarters arguing that the assets would come under the definition of 'trove' and the state should take over it under the Kerala Treasure Trove Act.
"You repeatedly describe it as 'nidhi' (treasure trove). It is the wealth of the temple," Sivakumar replied to a question by former home minister and CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. He said foolproof security had been provided to the temple with personnel drawn from police, Rapid Action Force and State Commando Force.
The government would bear all costs for the safety of the invaluable wealth in the cellars, he said in reply to a question from Palode Ravi (Congress). A total of 53 security personnel have been positioned inside the temple and another 74 outside the shrine.
The entire security was under control of ADGP Venugoplan K Nair, the Minister said. Referring to reports on the value of assets found in the temple, Sivakumar said the temple was now the richest one in India. He also said that flow of devotees had increased significantly following the discovery of the valuables. The invaluable articles found during an inventory included rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and silver coins, idols and gold, silver and brass platters and lamps, whose value is estimated at nearly Rs one lakh crore.