Temple authorities of Shitla Mata Mandir and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation locked horns Tuesday after a wall,built by the civic body,was allegedly demolished late on Monday night. While the temple authorities say the wall was ‘accidentally’ demolished after a ‘stampede-like situation’ occurred,MC authorities say the wall was purposefully destroyed. The civic body Tuesday reacted by locking the back gate of the temple to ‘avoid trespassing’,but removed it later on in the day.
The 100-year-old temple,located near MC Zone A Headquarters,has a back gate dating back since the temple was first built. Later,the MC built a wall in front of the gate Mangat Ram Moong,president of the temple,told Newsline: We wrote a letter to the Mayor on March 19 asking for permission to open the back gate and remove the wall as festival of ‘baasadiya’ was approaching in which thousands of devotees visit Shitla Mata temple. On Monday,the rush increased to such a level that a stampede-like situation was created and if people had not accidentally broken the wall and moved out,a tragedy may have happened.
On claims of MC that they deliberately demolished the wall,he said,Had that been our intention,it would have happened a lot earlier. We were no fools waiting for MC permission for so long. He added that the ‘gate is owned by the temple and MC had no right to put their locks on it’.
Assistant town planner (Zone A),Kamaljeet Kaur,when asked why locks were put on the gate,said: There was lot of trespassing going on and action was taken. The wall was owned by the MC but it was demolished by temple authorities without any permission.
For the time being there are no orders from higher authorities. I have told workers to remove the lock till Wednesday morning, she added.