THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nine days ahead of schedule, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple officials have completed the restoration works of Mitranandapuram pond in the precincts of the Temple and held its inaugural on Sunday. It was inaugurated by Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran in the presence of other political leaders irrespective of party affiliation, temple officials and priests.

According to the Supreme Court directive, the Mitranandapuram pond works need to be completed by June 18. The temple officials indicate the work was undertaken on a war-footing and completed within 51 days.

The Mitranandapuram pond restoration work in an expanse of 1.3 acre began with a ritual at the pond on April 20 and State Nirmithi Kerndra was entrusted with the work based on the restoration plan chalked out, Temple administrative committee chairperson K Haripal told TOI.

The Mitranandapuram pond restoration work was completed on a war footing beginning the work on April 20 with de-watering, removal of sludge and construction of side walls with stone and rubble retaining the heritage value, Temple executive officer and Nirmithi Kendra director KN Satheesh told TOI.

Restoration of Mitranandapuram pond incurred an expense of Rs 1.5 crore, of which Rs 50 lakh is yet to be released by the state government. Devaswom Minister has assured to release the remaining amount of Rs 50 lakh. Bathing ghats were also constructed at the pond, temple officials said. The workers and devotees behind the effort were given mementos as a token of appreciation for their work.

Further, beautification works around the pond are planned by planting saplings of herbal and flowering plants such as Thulasi and Exora, the temple officials said.

Based on the action plan chalked out by the temple authorities, Mitranandauram pond restoration work was completed on a war footing in 51 days and regular fortnightly status reports were sent to the Supreme Court. Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam also made a recent visit to assess the work, Temple devotee TK Anantapadmanabhan said.

The inaugural was presided over by MLA VS Sivakumar in the presence of former Minister of State and BJP MLA O Rajagopal, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, CPM member Adv.Vijay Mohan, Shiv Sena leader MS Bhuvanachandran, district collector S Venkatespathi, city mayor VK Prashant, Temple administrative committee chairperson and district judge K Haripal and other officials. Sringeri Mutt’s head Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamy, Pushpanjali Neelakanta Bharathi, temple priest, Travancore royal family members Aditya Varma and Lakshmi Bayi Thampurati were present.

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