Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has started preliminary work to melt the unutilised jewellery in possession of the temples in the state into 24 carat gold bars, reports Press Trust of India.
Initially, the gold ornaments lying unutilised at the three renowned temples of Sri Karumariamman temple in Tiruverkadu, Sri Mariamman temple in Samayapuram and Sri Mariamman temple at Irukkankudi, will be melted and converted into gold bars for monetisation.
The funds raised by depositing the gold bars in nationalised banks would be used for the development of the temples under the ambit of the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department, the government said.
The Chief Minister virtually launched the revival of the scheme in the presence of HR & CE Minister P K Sekar Babu, Tourism, Culture and HR & CE Principal Secretary B Chandra Mohan, HR & CE Commissioner J Kumaragurubaran and other officials.
The temple gold monetisation scheme was launched in 1979 and under this the gold offered by devotees to nine major temples including the ancient Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple, Madurai, Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy temple, Palani, Sri Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Tiruchendur and Mariamman temple in Samayapuram, were converted into gold bars, an official release said.
The government would melt only those gold ornaments offered by the devotees whicg are lying unutililsed for the last ten years. The jewellery, which is currently being used to adorn the deities would not be monetised, the government said. About 497.795 kg of 24 carat gold bars were deposited in the nationalised banks so far.