Chennai, Oct 13 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Wednesday virtually launched the preliminary work regarding melting of gold ornaments donated at state temples, covered under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, for converting into gold bars.
Stalin launched the work at the Arulmigu Karumariyamman Temple at Tiruverkadu, the Arulmigu Mariamman temple at Samayapuram, and the Arulmigu Mariamman Temple at Irukkankudi.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, in a statement, said that since 1979, gold donated by devotees to temples has been converted into 24-carat gold bars.
It also said that 497.795 kg of temple gold ornaments have been deposited in nationalised banks and gold jewelry from nine temples has so far been melted at the Indian Government Mint in Mumbai.
The state government had appointed retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice D. Raju, and two retired High Court Judges, Justices K. Ravichandrababu and R. Mala to head three panels to oversee the melting of temple gold ornaments to gold bars. The bars deposited in nationalised banks would fetch interest that would be used for maintaining the temples.