With the Nitish Kumar Cabinet finally giving the go-ahead to a devoted fund for fencing of temples and mutts, around 200 religious structures across the state are all set to get fenced in the first lot. The Bihar State Religious Trust Council has prepared a priority list of temples and mutts for fencing and the state government has earmarked Rs 20 crore for the project in the first year. The respective district magistrates and superintendents of police will take a final call on the selection of temples or mutts proposed by the religious trust council for fencing.
The idea of fencing that came from the state government’s much talked-about fencing of cemeteries aims at resolving encroachment of temple trust land and prevent theft of valuable statues and ornaments.
Kishore Kunal, the chairman of state religious trust council, told The Indian Express: “I have been chasing this proposal for two-and-a-half-years. It was supposed to come into effect in 2014 but by the time the proposal could move for a Cabinet nod, the Lok Sabha elections were notified. We also followed this with then CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, who had agreed on a Rs 20-crore fund for the first year.”
Kunal said now there was no hitch with the project except another election notification around the corner. “It is quite possible the fencing project could be done by the state building construction corporation only after the formation of a new government,” said Kunal.
He said only temples, mutts and dharamshalas who have their own land and are registered would qualify for fencing. More than 4,500 temples and mutts are registered with the state religious trust.
“We are selecting those temples and mutts which apprehend encroachment of its land. Regular theft at temples can be also resolved with the move,” said Kunal, a former IPS officer.
When quizzed about the timing of the Cabinet nod, Kunal refrained from commenting but said the proposal had been there for some time.
Courtesy: The Indian Express