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A top priority for the protection of elephants: Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee Chairman

By

C K George, S Anand

Guruvayur Devaswom Managing committee chairman, Dr Prof. Vijayan said that the Devaswom would give top priority for acquiring sufficient land for the health movement of elephants under its ownership.

He said that Devaswom has decided to purchase over 92 acres of land with the direction of the Honourable supreme court.

Devaswom has 44 elephants now and it has only 18.5 acres of land which is not sufficient. Only 35 elephants have sheds now. As per the directive of the Supreme Court, captive elephants require two – and – half acres of land for the healthy movement of the elephants.

The supreme court issued the directions approving the union Forest ministry’s suggestions for the protection of elephants. The union Forest Ministry had submitted 12 suggestions before the supreme court in 2018, which included two–and–a–half acres of land per captive elephant and the keeper of the captive elephants are bound to provide two and a half acres of land per animal, Vijayan said.

It is the need of the hour for the Guruvayur Devaswom to get 92 more acres of the protection of its elephants near the famous Sree Krishna temple Guruvayur, he added.

Answering a query, Prof. Vijayan said that it is not the paucity of funds the Devaswom did not acquire the land required for the protection of elephants but the non – availability of land in the proximity of the temple.

He said that there is no problem with funds for the Devaswom but the lack of availability of required land nearby the temple was the only glitch in acquiring sufficient land for the protection of elephants.

The collection (corbans) of the Devasams for march 2022 was Rs. 4,06,69,969 (Four crores, six lakh, sixty–nine thousand and nine hundred and sixty-nine rupee). Besides, 5.25 kilograms of gold and 607 kilograms of silver were also there in the hundi boxes of the Guruvayur temple and foreign currency notes.

Vijayan said that there were also demonetized Indian currency notes of 15 numbers one thousand rupees and 82 numbers of 500 notes.
Vijayan said that lakhs of rupees demonetized Indian currency were recovered from the hundi boxes of the Guruvayur temple since Nov 2016, offered by the devotee.

Vijayan said that a project for making sheds for the elephants had been approved by the managing committee. It is to construct sheds for all the 44 elephants with the statutory specifications and modern amenities for the safety and security of elephants’ health. The absence of modern sheds had caused difficulties to the devaswom and its mahouts. The project’s work would be started shortly, Vijayan said.

 

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