Land grabbers have encroached more than 25,000 acres of Temple land, worth nearly Rs. 10,000 crores in Tamil Nadu
   09-Sep-2019
 
 
In a shocking revelation with long lasting ramification on interests of the Hindu Temples in Tamil Nadu, it has come to notice that nearly 25,868 acres of temple lands have been encroached by land grabbers. These lands that have been illegally transferred to various other owners are worth a whopping Rs 10,000 crores!
 
Encroachment of temple lands is not new and in 2018 it was reported that 9000 acres of Temple lands have been encroached illegally by various people. But now after the state government started the scheme to digitize all land records of temples under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department across Tamil Nadu, it has been found that at least 25,868 acres of land worth around Rs 10,000 crore belonging to various temples is under encroachment, reports TOI (external link).
 
The TOI in its report also states that digitization of land records of more than 38,000 temples and mutts, which began a few years ago, has been completed and officials — including two district revenue officers have been appointed to reconcile the land details with revenue records under the updating registry scheme (URS).
 
In March 2019, Organiser had reported that 76 acres of land belonging to ancient Murugan Temple of Thiruporur in Kanchipuram was encroached and turned into a housing complex. The land was worth over Rs 750 crore. Investigation had revealed that construction of buildings and other structures have taken place at more than 10 locations, which have the properties belonging to the Temple. 
 
In July this year, A. Radhakrishnan, founder and president of Thiruthondargal Sabai had claimed that as much as 70% of lands belonging to temples across the State have been encroached.  Most of these lands were donated by the kinds, zamindars and devotees to the temples over the centuries. Now, they are under attack by the land mafia as the government has neglected safeguarding them.