The government of Uttarakhand has come to a decision to create a high-level panel to probe claims of a Rs 1.25 billion scandal in the gold plating of the sanctorum of Kedarnath temple. Uttarakhand Tourism, Religion, and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj said that he has informed the secretary of culture and religious affairs Harichandra Semwal to set up an inquiry committee involving high-level executives under the chairmanship of the Garhwal commissioner to understand the root cause of the issue.
Maharaj has asked Semwal to involve technical professionals as well as goldsmiths in the high-level inquiry committee. The Uttarakhand government wants to deal with this sensitive matter in a timely manner. Maharaj also mentioned how strict action would be initiated against whosoever is found guilty. He also made it clear that as per the rules in Shri Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee Act, 1939, donation was received and consent was taken from the state government to gold-plate the sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath temple.
Under the supervision of experts from the Archaeological Survey of India, the gold plating initiative was completed said the minister. He also mentioned how the temple committee had no role in it as the donor got the gold and got it inlaid on the walls of the sanctum sanctorum. Maharaj said that with the completion of the gold plating work, its related bills and papers were given by the donor to the temple committee.
Maharaj blamed the Opposition parties for trying to destroy the image of the Chardham Yatra by taking up the issue without any relevance. Before, the temple committee of Badrinath-Kedarnath had said in a statement to the media that 23,777.800 grams of gold were utilized in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Its present value was about Rs 14.38 crore, while the total weight of the copper plates used for the gilded work was 1,001.300 kg of a total value of Rs 29 lakh.
Just some days back, Teerth Purohit of Kedarnath Temple and Vice President of Chardham Mahapanchayat Santosh Trivedi shared a video on social media claiming details of the gold plating scam. They mentioned that brass has been used on the walls of the sanctum sanctorum instead of gold plating and the scandal was approximately Rs 1.25 billion.
It is really threatening to see the status of the famous temples that crores of people blindly trust and visit thinking they are getting blessings of the Gods. One needs to note that temple authorities have to be very clear and transparent with the government when it comes to whatever it is doing on the temple premises. Because if there is no higher official involved in the management of the temples, then there are higher chances of more frauds and scams involved in the House of Lords. It is after all the hard-earned money of the common people that they donate to temples in order to instill the values of charity and giving back to their own communities that run for the welfare of the people again.