Chennai, June 18: Tamil Nadu Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE), P.K. Sekar Babu has said that the government will allow public worship in temples only after the COVID-19 cases are under control and there are zero deaths in the state owing to the pandemic.

The Minister told reporters at Sri Meenakshi Sundareswar temple, Madurai on Friday that the government is working towards bringing the COVID-19 cases down in the state. He said, "Public worship will be allowed in temples as soon as the COVID-19 cases are under control and the state reports zero deaths due to COVID-19."  Uttarakhand: ‘Non-Hindus Not Allowed’ Banners Put Up Outside 150 Temples Across Dehradun

Sekar Babu said that the "Kumbabishekham" of the Sree Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple will be performed after the renovation of the Veera Vasantharayar Mandapam which is to be completed in two years. The mandapam was destroyed by fire in 2018.

The minister said that the previous AIADMK government did the renovation work of the Veera Vasantharayar Mandapam at a snail's pace and added, "We will renovate it at the speed of a rabbit".

The HR&CE minister said that the details of the temple jewellery will not be uploaded online as it would be a major safety issue. He said that the department would build strong rooms in all the temples for the safekeeping of jewellery.

Sekar Babu said that the department would take all steps to provide the best treatment to the Sree Meenakshi Sundareswar temple elephant, Parvathy who was suffering from cataract in both eyes. He said that if need be doctors from other states or even abroad may be brought for her treatment.

He added that the government was committed to the welfare of all the 30 temple elephants in the state.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 18, 2021 05:06 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website