Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday launched the preliminary work to melt into 24-carat gold bars, the unutilized jewelry in the possession of the temples in the State.
Initially, the gold ornaments lying unutilized 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 monetization.
The funds raised by depositing the gold bars in nationalized 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 temple gold monetization 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 was converted into gold bars, an official release said.
The government would melt only those gold ornaments offered by the devotees but lying unutilized for the last ten years. The jewelry, which is currently being used to adorn the deities would not be monetized, the government said. About 497.795 kg of 24-carat gold bars were deposited in the nationalized banks so far.
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