The Madras High Court has issued notice to Tamil Nadu government on a PIL seeking to appoint a monitoring committee headed by a retired judge to supervise funds allotted for the coming ‘Mahamaham’ festival at Kumbakonam, which falls once every 12 years.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana before which the PIL filed by advocate ‘Elephant’ Rajendran came up last week, issued notice to the government pleader.
It also directed the government to file a counter affidavit within three weeks with the status report and also incorporate the steps taken till now.
The petitioner recalled conduct of the Mahamaham in 1992 when about 50 pilgirms died in the temple tank and said the festival, celebrated once every 12 years, is equal to Kumba Mela and is scheduled to be conducted on February 26, 2016.
More than 40 lakh devotees are expected from various parts of India and all would have a holy dip at the tank, he said.
Stating that government has sanctioned Rs 260 crore for the festival, he alleged that channels and water mains had not been clearned in Kumbakonam city and that the authorities planned to take up all the important works only a month before the festival without the expected standards, “which will collapse immediately after the festival is over.”
Hence he sought a direction from the court to appoint a monitoring committee headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court with IAS and IPS officers and auditor as members.
The bench directed the authorities concerned to file a status report on the steps taken and also verify with regard to the charges of constructions carried out and encroachments in the area concerned.
( Source – PTI )