Groundbreaking of Hindu Temple in Midst of Controversy

September 10, 2004

Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers

On September 10, 2004 Casa Grande Valley Newspapers reported, "residents of this area west of Stanfield packed the Maricopa High School cafeteria Thursday night for a meeting sponsored by Salt River Project, protesting the possible routing of a 500-kV power line through their neighborhood... For a Hindu temple, set to break ground in Hidden Valley this week, organizers feel the costs could be too much to bear. 'We were never notified about this project,' said Aravind Thaya, a representative for the project. 'It came as a complete shock when we learned about it just this last Friday. We've been planning this temple for five years.' The temple, a multimillion-dollar project, is to serve the Southwestern U.S. as a regional center of Hinduism. 'Religious dignitaries from around the world are flying in for the groundbreaking ceremony next Saturday,' Thaya said. 'Once the ceremony is performed, we cannot move the temple.... We picked this specific location and architecture for the mountain views. If you put a power line there, we might as well just build a warehouse.... Your plan completely destroys what we have planned.'"