5.5 acres in Saligramam was illegally used as a parking lot
Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) P.K. Sekar Babu on Monday said the government will ensure that properties belonging to temples will be retrieved. Land worth ₹250 crore, belonging to the Vadapalani Subramaniaswami temple, was retrieved on Monday.
Addressing the media during the removal of encroachments on the land in Saligramam, he pointed out that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had directed the department to take all necessary steps to safeguard temple properties.
“Recently, encroachments around a mandapam belonging to the Sri Ranganathar temple in Srirangam was removed by the department,” he said.
The vacant land in Saligramam, measuring 5.5 acres, was being used as a parking lot illegally and was worth ₹250 crore.
According to official sources in the HR and CE Department, the land was originally leased out to the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women for 29 years starting 2008.
The Corporation then handed it over to the Social Welfare Department, which had constructed a hostel for working women on a portion of the land. The hostel has remained closed for over two years now. The payment of lease amount, which had been fixed at ₹1 lakh a month, was defaulted and after proceedings under Section 78 of the HR and CE Act, the temple has taken possession of the land once again.
On Monday, officials of the HR and CE Department, Chennai Corporation and police personnel removed encroachments from the land.
The owners of the vehicles parked there were given a day’s time to remove them, an official added. HR and CE Commissioner J. Kumaragurubaran was also present during the encroachment removal drive.
When asked about the posting of persons who had completed the archaka course in temples, the Minister responded that such questions would be answered within 100 days.
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