Thursday, May 30, 2024

Rs 700 crore set aside by a gold merchant for ‘Amma’ who gave it all

A gold merchant Gaanasravan from Bengaluru has pledged to donate Rs 700 crore for the development of Chottanukkara temple located in Kochi (Kerala). He visited the temple on November 16, along with officials from “Swamiji Group of Companies”. It was then that details of his donation became known.

After splitting the total amount of Rs 700 crores into two parts, Rs 300 crores are expected to be spent on renovation. The balance of Rs 400 crore will be spent on construction of a 500-bed super- speciality hospital, guest houses, auditorium, sewage treatment plant etc. Gaansravan says he wants to develop the area around temple into an international pilgrimage centre.

The donor has also pledged to cover the sanctum sanctorum with gold plated. Gaanasravan said his Guru told him to offer prayers at Chottanikara temple five years ago, and this changed my destiny. After that, his gold trade flourished thereafter and became truly global. “I believe that it is the blessings of Amma (deity at the temple) that has brought me bounties. Therefore, I have decided to spend some of my earnings for the development of the temple,” he explained.

Regarding his plans for a 500-bedded super speciality hospital, Gaanasrwan said the hospital will offer free treatment to all irrespective of religion, caste or creed. His company also plans to build seven guest houses of 300 rooms each, besides a VIP guest house. It has also planned an old age home to house 200 inmates. An orphanage and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 5,000 are also being planned.

Widening of roads, and development of two ring roads to ease the movement of traffic will also be undertaken. A dedicated parking area will be created by acquiring land worth Rs 50 croes in the vicinity of the temple, he said.

The project is expected to start in January 2021 and to be completed by the end of 2027. It roughly translates to spending Rs 100 crore every year over the next seven years. Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB) will also be involved in the development works. A joint account of Swamiji Group and CDB is likely to be opened and before starting any works, the entire amount will be transferred to this account for that phase, a senior CDB official said.

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