CHENNAI: Fishermen of Nochikuppam fishing hamlet near Mylapore on Monday urged the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department to restore the land attached to Ellaiamman Pazhandi Amman Temple encroached by private players.
"Fishermen in Nochikuppam are residing for several years and the property was registered to them by the Britishers before Independence. The Britishers also gave 50 grounds of land for Ellaiamman Pazhandi Amman Temple, which is the family deity for the fishermen of Nochikuppam. However, recently private players from outside Chennai colluding with government officials registered 5,000 square feet and 50 grounds of land illegally in Nochikuppam and are forcing the native fishermen to vacate. We have urged the HR&CE department to remove the encroachers from the land and to handover the land back to fishermen," K Bharathi, Deputy Secretary, Mylai Nochikuppam Meenava Grama Sabai told DT Next.
Bharathi along with members of the fishermen association met HR&CE Commissioner J Kumaragurubaran and submitted a petition to him urging the department to remove the encroachers. The Commissioner after receiving the petition assured the fishermen that the encroachers will be removed in one week.
"If the HR&CE department does not initiate action within one week we have decided to hold fast against the encroachment on Wednesday next week," said Bharathi.
He also said that the practice of the fishermen is to register the land in the name of the temple and by doing so the land will be retained within their community. As the land was retained by the fishermen, they were administering the temple land but after the administration was taken over by HR&CE department, the registration was done illegally by outsiders.
Bharathi further urged the State government to appoint fishermen representatives as Trustees of Ellaiamman Pazhandi Amman temple to make sure that no temple land in future is encroached by private players and to protect the temple land.