Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department that manages the Srirangam temple has mooted a proposal to ban the usage of mobile phones in Arulmigu Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. Special locker facility has also been proposed at all the three entry points of the temple to enable devotees to keep their mobile phones temporarily for a minimal amount.
HR&CE sources said that the decision to ban the usage of mobile phones was taken based on a suggestion post a safety audit conducted by the Tamil Nadu Police (security) recently. Taking a cue from the mobile phone ban at the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, HR&CE department has passed an internal circular briefing the proposal and inviting suggestions. Claiming that it is too difficult for the security personnel to scan devotees individually, management said that devotees sneak mobile phones with them and click photographs at important spots of the temple.
“We can spot digital and video cameras but our employees are facing a tough time in requesting the devotees not to use mobile phones near the major shrine. Banning the mobile phones inside temple premises will also ensure tranquility while worshipping,” an official source with HR&CE said. It has been said that Srirangam temple management has submitted the proposal to the commissioner, HR&CE, Chennai seeking permission to implement the ban on usage of mobile phones inside the temple. Subsequently, special lockers for the devotees to keep their mobile phones temporarily will be established near Ranga Ranga Gopuram (south tower), Vellai gopuram (east tower), and Vadakku gopuram (north tower). “We have planned to collect Rs 10 per locker as user fee for depositing mobile phones.
The fee has not been fixed yet,” HR&CE sources said. When asked about whether the lockers will be adequate enough to accommodate mobile phones during festive days, temple management said that they believe devotees will develop the habit to enter the temple sans their mobile phones or will keep their gadgets in vehicles. The mobile phone ban will be implemented once the HR&CE high command agrees to the proposal, sources said.