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Already achieved target of retrieving temple lands worth Rs 1K cr: Sekar Babu
HR and CE Minister PK Sekar Babu on Wednesday said that temple lands worth over Rs 1,000 crore belonging to the department have been retrieved since the DMK returned to power.
Talking to reporters after retrieving Rs 300 crore worth temple land on Poonamallee High Road, Sekar Babu said that about 49 grounds belonging to Kancheepuram Ekambaranathar Temple were retrieved in the presence of HR and CE Commissioner Kumaragurubaran after withdrawing a court appeal.
Clarifying that the land was given on a 98-year lease and the heirs of the lessee had rented it to the postal department after his death, the Minister said the department would move the court to recover over Rs 12 crore rent arrear owed by the lessee’s heirs to the temple.
On the old structure on the retrieved land, Babu said that they have planned to put the building back to use without disturbing its heritage value and private experts would be engaged to inspect the stability of the structure and ascertain if it could be put to use or if it is unfit for occupation. Exuding confidence that the remaining 60 grounds belonging to the same temple in two different locations would be retrieved in a couple of months, Sekar Babu said that in the last four days alone they have retrieved Rs 40 crore worth temple land in Maduravoyal, Mylapore and Tiruporur.
Recalling his statement in the recent Assembly session that they would recover Rs 1,000 crore worth HR and CE land this year, he said that they have already exceeded the Rs 1,000 crore target and they would retrieve lands worth another few hundred crores before the end of the year.
Asked about state BJP president K Annamalai’s allegation that only temples were remaining closed on weekends, the Minister clarified that they have denied public access to all places of worship based on the protocol set by the Centre.