Is Sai Baba Temple using public space for its own? Activists point fingers

Many Mylaporeans are on their edge and blowing their tops at the chaos outside Saibaba Temple, Mylapore especially on Thursday, the day when the rush of devotes here is huge. The complainants are angry that while the temple managers seem to have encroached on the pavement to build their sun shades, they have used dividers to enlarge the devotees’ queue and chap pal box area on to the main road.

Recently, dividers have been used further down to enlarge the space for devotees to access the temple, thus cutting off public road space. Many No Parking boards and more medians are used and Mylaporeans say they are not sure if these are displayed legally. ” Has the Traffic Police or Chennai Corporation approved this?”, asks Sridhar V., who heads a civic action group in Mylapore.

P. S. Senior School managers informally express their own frustration because the temple’s new arrangements on the road is affecting the school traffic, in and out.

One activist says that temple managers refused to be questioned by the local Corporation officer who wanted to find out who had set up road medians and used public space at will.

On Thursdays, evening time traffic headed from Dr Ranga Road is diverted via the MRTS channel to ease the stream on Venkatesa Agraharam.

But local police are turning a blind eye on traffic management ideated by the temple itself. This attitude has frustrated activists who say the temple must follow rules, not flout them.

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