Retaining wall supporting heavy stone slabs slants precariously
Mysore/Mysuru: While the road from the Thavarekatte Junction to Sri Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill got full attention from the District Administration just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mysuru visit, certain areas atop the Hill around Temple received no attention and danger lurks in the form of slanting stone slabs that might fall off suddenly.
Many slanted culverts and boundary walls were straightened and strengthened with concrete, overgrown plants on the sides were pruned, many roadside bushes were cleared and over 150 street lights were erected to beam bright lights from the foot to the top of the Chamundi Hill ahead of the PM’s visit.
But the retaining wall near the Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple is dangerously slanting towards the Temple and the heavy stone slabs on the retaining wall too are standing precariously. Ashada and the Chamundeshwari Vardhanti celebrations are just days away and lakhs of devotees will throng the Temple during the auspicious time.
Moreover, this year, the crowds are bound to swell as the Ashada months in 2020 and 2021 were restricted for devotees due to the COVID pandemic. Thousands of devotees who missed having Darshan of their Goddess during this auspicious time will come to the Temple this year.
Normally, after having Darshan of the presiding deity Goddess Chamundeshwari, the devotees come to offer prayers at Sri Mahabaleshwaraswamy Temple and Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple. As Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple is located at a height, a huge stone retaining wall has been built on the side and a small walkway has been created.
Cracks at multiple places
Devotees coming to Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple have to walk between the temple wall and the retaining wall and there are steps to descend onto the road. But most parts of the retaining wall are dangerously bent towards the Temple side and on top of the slanting retaining wall, there are stone slabs and they too are balancing precariously.
While the retaining wall is about 3 to 4 ft. high, the stone slabs on top of it are 7 to 8 inches thick and extend up to 20 to 25 inches in length. The retaining walls have developed cracks in multiple places and there are chances of the wall and the stone slabs crashing if the soil underneath becomes loose.
If at all the stone slabs and the retaining wall cave in when the devotees are walking on the path of Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple, there is a danger of them sustaining grievous injuries on their legs.
Demand for barricades
Residents of the Chamundi Gram Panchayat have urged the District Administration and the Chamundeshwari Temple Management Committee to straighten the wall and also the stone slabs on top of them before any accident occurs.
Devotees come to Sri Mahabaleshwaraswamy Temple and Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple after standing in long queues at Sri Chamundeshwari Temple and they are usually accompanied by small children who jump around. These precariously standing parts of the retaining wall can prove fatal if they fall on children, said residents.
The least the authorities can do is to erect barricades to prevent devotees from coming near the retaining wall while circumambulating the Temple, they added.