Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday issued notice to Tekdi Ganesh Temple Trust who has been found “sleeping” over the NMC notice asking it to demolish the worn out portion of the temple. The matter reached the High Court when a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in this regard and the first hearing was held before the Division Bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Vinay Deshpande on Thursday. Notices have also been issued to Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Office of Charity Commissioner. The notices have asked the three entities to file their replies within three weeks.
The PIL, filed by Shyam Agrawal, has drawn attention of the High Court towards the dilapidated portion of the historic temple and the hazard it posed to devotees who pour in at the mandir in thousands. The PIL also drew attention of the Court over the fact that the Temple Trust did not act on the notice issued by NMC asking it to get rid of worn out portion. “This is a serious issue. The Temple Trust is putting the lives of devotees at peril by its negligent attitude,” the PIL told the High Court.
It is pertinent to recall that NMC had prepared a report on the condition of the age-old structure and sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The civic body, on the basis of a report on ‘condition assessment and structural audit and inspection’ submitted by a firm named PT Mase and Associates, had issued a notice to Tekdi Ganesh Temple Trust in July last and had asked the Trust to demolish the dilapidated portion of mandir structure within seven days. However, the Temple Trust disregarded the NMC notice and as a result the worn out structure stands as it is.
Notably, Nagpur Today had flashed a report on July 3, 2016 titled “Dilapidated Tekdi Ganesh Mandir tottering” stating the structural audit of the famous Tekdi Ganesh Mandir, a place of faith for millions and millions of devotees, done last year has come out with the mind-numbing fact. The fact is that the temple has completed its stipulated age and now is in dilapidated condition. And evidences of this disturbing fact are also coming to the fore. One of the portions of the temple has given up. The roof is counting days over a supporting tower. But the more distressing fact is that no move is visible to correct the wrong despite the alarm bells ringing, loud and clear. In a sort of damage control exercise, the entire roof of the temple was given lease of life with the support of a tower soon after receiving the structural audit report. In fact, the iron towers have been erected right below the beams situated at the four corners of the temple. The reason is that the age-old beams of the age-old temple have rusted and hollowed. But according to the engineers, who carried out the structural audit, the ‘dilapidated’ roof is burdening the supporting tower itself, slowly and steadily. A dreadful situation in the offing, truly speaking.
The main portion of the Tekdi Ganesh Temple is depicting ‘everything is all right.’ However, the cement plaster of its surrounding walls and balcony or gallery is getting roughed up and the pieces shower the devotees. Recently, to force the authorities to spend sleepless nights, a portion of balcony at entry gate came down crashing with a thud. Luckily no one was injured. Even though the management of the temple, as a precautionary measure, do demolished some portions of the structure to prevent a tragedy but everything is not fine.
to an office-bearer of Tekdi Ganesh Mandir Samiti, the construction of the structure was done in 1975. One of the political leaders at that time had donated 200 bags of cement. But since cement was not being used rampantly at that time, a material called ‘Sagol’ was mixed in the construction material. The mixing of the ‘Sagol’ stuff did not give the required strength to the structure. Hence, during rainy days, the damage to the structure or collapse is always a possibility, the office-bearer stated with worry writ large on his face.