Sealing Ranade Library and Srinivasa Sastri Hall: management says this was ‘hasty action and could have been avoided’

Sealing the premises of the Ranade Library and Srinivasa Sastri Hall by the authorities of Sri Kapali Temple was a ‘hasty action and could have been avoided’ when the matter is pending in the Madras High Court based on a writ petition filed by us, says K S Hemanth Kumar, honorary secretary of South Indian National Association (SINA) which manages these places in Luz.

The two landmarks of Mylapore were sealed last week for non payment of rental arrears.

Hemanth Kumar says in a statement , ‘We are lawful tenants as per the government G.O and we have been paying the  contractual  rent upto date. The rent for the month of April 2022 has also been paid. The mentioned due is because of the increase made arbitrarily by the temple authorities  and that too claimed retrospectively.’

He says his case is coming up for hearing on June 6.

Besides the issue of rental arrears, the temple has also questioned what its officers say it construction and development of the property without getting clearance, something that was done many years ago.

On this issue, Hemanth’s statement states – ‘We have not added any floor over the first floor nor an inch of construction was made either vertically or horizontally. Since the old tiled roof was leaking and gave way we changed it to an RCC ceiling.’

The statement added – Though the land belongs to the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple the building belongs to us. The ground floor which consists of the library, named after Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade of Maharashtra  by our founder Diwan Bahadur Raghunatha Rao in whose house the library was functioned earlier, was built in the year 1905 and the first floor was built in 1955 and named after the famed orator Rt. Hon’ble Srinivasa Sastri.

Meanwhile, a few Mylaporeans said that these spaces were of heritage value and must be allowed to function. Some said that the Sastri Hall was one of the best spaces for concerts. Others opined that since the places like a library and hall for concerts cannot generate big revenues, the HR&CE Department must be considerate in its rentals here.

  • File photo of Sastri Hall used here

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