The bench is hearing a PIL which sought a direction to authorities to maintain the sanctity, serenity and holiness of the temple and its precincts, thronged by pilgrims from across the country. The court expressed its unhappiness when the PWD said that such a linking of the water sites was not possible.
The bench posted the case for further hearing to February 10, when the proposed Committee was expected to submit its report. Petitioner M Vennila, a Coimbatore-based woman lawyer, alleged that visitors to the temple had to suffer from contagious diseases due to "nauseating and unhygienic" conditions.
She visited the temple on May 5 along with her family and was shocked to see the temple's "Agni Theertham" polluted with fecal materials. Her family members had to be hospitalised after taking a dip in the water site which was actually believed to purify human soul and body as per Hindu Sanathana Dharma. She also complained that brokers openly demand heavy illegal gratification from the devotees for performing religious customary practices and taking bath in the 22 holy water sites.
She had sent a representation in this regard to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board and other authorities concerned on May 7, but no action had been taken. Her counsel W Peter Ramesh Kumar also sought an interim injunction restraining the use of public toilets located adjacent to the Agni Theertham.