Monday, April 29, 2019

Kankai temple trustees accuse forest department staff of vandalism

 TNN | Updated: Mar 31, 2019, 12:01 IST
RAJKOT: The trustees of Kankai temple located in dense Gir forest have alleged that forest officials vandalized their water pipeline on the midnight of Friday and threatened them with penal action if they tried to lay the pipeline again. However, the forest officials claimed that it was a misunderstanding on part of both the parties.
The temple administrators said that they were repairing the water pipeline ahead of the nine-day Chaitri Navratri festival that begins on April 6, when thousands of devotees are expected to visit the temple. They argued that they needed water for large number of devotees, especially when the area is reeling under heat wave conditions.
Narendra Jani, president of the temple, said, “The forest officials barged into the temple premises after midnight on Friday and without any notice vandalized the pipeline which was being laid in the premises.”
“We were replacing the 45-year-old pipelines in the evening time because during the day one cannot work because of the high temperature,” Jani added, accusing forest department of harassment.
The pipeline was being laid from the well in the temple compound to the water tank inside the premises. Jani said that the temple has 80 cows that require large quantity of water.
When contacted, chief conservator of forest (wildlife), D T Vasavda said, “The temple authorities were repairing the pipeline during the night which is prohibited in the forest area. They also did not inform the forest staff about the work. The issue seems to be of misunderstanding on both the sides.”
He added that the temple authorities would be allowed to replace the old pipeline under supervision of forest officials.

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