Possession of the said volume of land, which was a part of a 44.5 ground parcel belonging to the temple, was handed over by Kalavala Kannan Chetty Charities to the executive officer of Yekambaranathar Temple in the presence of State HR & CE minister PK Sekarbabuon Sunday.
The department had retrieved 12.5 grounds from Seetha Kingston Matriculation Higher Secondary School in 2010. HR & CE authorities had won the legal battle after Kalavala Kannan Chetty Charities Trust moved the Madras High Court, which ruled in favour of the temple management. Subsequently, the school trust had expressed its inability to run the school.
The Minister has also issued orders to retrieve another 96.5 grounds of land belonging to the same temple on the Poonamallee High Road. Sunday’s land retrieval follows a similar exercise last week when the HR & CE authorities retrieved land worth around Rs 250 crore at Saligramam in the city.
The vacant land in Saligramam, measuring 5.5 acres, was being used as a parking lot illegally and was worth Rs 250 crore. The department appears to be on a reform spree given that it had posted details of its land holdings online, as was promised by Sekarbabu, shortly after he assumed office.
The HR&CE department confirmed that the government is in the process of restoring temple land and already details of 3,43,647 acres of temple land have been verified. The department has compared the data available with it and that with the Tamil Nadu government’s revenue department in the state’s land record registry.
A day ago, the minister announced that the government would train and appoint women, if they wish, as temple priests.