Chennai, Feb 13 (PTI) Days after the massive fire at the famous Meenakshi temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu government has directed holding of safety audits of big temples in the state.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami gave the directions to officials at a review meeting held in this connection with senior cabinet colleagues and officials yesterday, an official release said today.

There should be an immediate safety audit in big “senior grade temples,” where existing safety measures, including fire prevention activities must be reviewed, Palaniswami said.

He directed that a report be filed with a proposed Chief Secretary-led panel of Secretaries, listing out the required manpower, including technical experts, to take up various works in this regard and the financial requirements, it said.

That panel will further submit its recommendations to the Chief Minister, it added.

Removal of shops abutting temple walls as well as located in temple premises and their possible relocation, two-three tier fire prevention measures and availability of a fire engine near such temples and fire extinguishers were the other measures suggested by the Chief Minister, the release said.

A massive fire on the premises of the famous Meenakshi temple in Madurai on February 2 reduced 40 shops to ashes.

A preliminary probe had revealed the fire broke out due to an electrical short-circuit in one of the shops situated near the 1,000-pillar hall.

The famous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple, one of the oldest in the country, attracts thousands of devotees every year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.