‘Will wage legal battle if necessary’
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister P.K. Sekarbabu on Thursday said the Department would wage a legal battle, if necessary, to retrieve land belonging to the Kasi Vishwanathar and Venugopalaswami temple in Kancheepuram district.
Addressing mediapersons after a review meeting, he said 177 acres of land was willed by a zamindar in 1884 to the temple. However, in 1951, a revenue clerk classified them as anaadheenam or poromboke due to want of documents. The Department applied for patta in 1983, and after over 15 years, the Revenue Department turned down its request.
“We went for two more appeals. However, those were turned down too, with the latest one being in 2021, when the Collector said the land was poromboke. My question is if it is poromboke land, should the Revenue Department not take over the land? We have gone on appeal to the Commissioner of Land Administration, and will leave no stone unturned to get the land back,” Mr. Sekarbabu said.
However, there have been complaints that the land has been encroached upon by five parties, including a theme park, a school and a college near Poonamallee. “Though the Department had taken steps to retrieve the land, it did not succeed due to various factors. We will go on appeal to get it back,” he said.
To a question on whether a private college in Nungambakkam, set on a sprawling campus, had been constructed on land belonging to a Shiva temple, the Minister said documents pertaining to the property had been thoroughly checked and that was not the case.
Earlier, Mr. Sekarbabu, along with Secretary B. Chandra Mohan and Commissioner J. Kumaragurubaran, reviewed the implementation of 112 announcements made during the Budget session. At least 50% of those will be implemented before the next Budget session, the Minister said.
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