Travel Club wants cameras and cellphones allowed inside Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar said he would raise the issue with the chief minister

Worshipers and tourists visiting the famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple urged the government to allow them to carry their cameras and cellphones so that they can capture the architectural wonders of the temple, as is done in other shrines.

Following a call from members of Travel Club Madurai at a meeting here, Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar said he would raise the issue with the chief minister and ask him to look at the terms in a positive way.

Giving assurances to this effect at a meeting to discuss stimulus measures for the tourism industry, held here on Saturday, the minister said the TN government has taken many steps since March, and said COVID -19 was now well under control. Not only tourism, but also other sectors would be revived, he added.

When the senior member and former President of the Travel Club, G. Vasudevan of Hotel Fortune Pandiyan, said that foreign travelers could not visit India at least for the next year due to COVID-19 restrictions and therefore have sought revival of the industry through liberal sops, Mr. Udayakumar said the government would certainly consider their pleas and suggestions.

The tourism industry, Vasudevan said, had not been functioning since March. Many employers and employees have found the situation very difficult. Explaining the difficulties, Mr Vasudevan said that upkeep of the premises itself takes away much of the money earned now and paying statutory bills such as electricity, water tax and tax land tenure was a Herculean task in this scenario. Granting a long tax holiday and discounts on electricity tariffs as in some southern states alone would give the sector hope.

Another senior member, S. Sundar, said that although the government has relaxed the curfew and announced SOPs, few footsteps were seen in restaurants. Many establishments failed to make ends meet and were planning to close for a few more months. Government intervention at this stage would boost morale among hoteliers, he said.

Madurai Airport has undergone a number of changes and new facilities have been added, said airport manager Sentil Valavan. Likewise, company commissioner S. Visagan also said the city is transforming from ancient to modern as Smart City initiatives have brought in 1,200 crore. It is only a matter of a few months for the job to be finished and people will not only feel the comfort but also have many new user-friendly facilities, he said.

The role of the Confederation of Indian Industry was highlighted at the meeting by Dr Satish Devadoss, who also explained how Madurai is becoming a medical center for people in the southern districts.

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