In a new twist to the dispute over ownership of prime property in Sammattipuram, where the Corporation had proposed to construct an indoor stadium four years back, a group of people on Wednesday claimed that the land belonged to a nearby temple.

They claimed that the 1.33 acre land, which was used as dumping yard by the Corporation, belonged to the temple for which they had documents. They also handed over a few documents to Corporation Commissioner S. Sebastine and Mayor G. Thenmozhi when they inspected the land.

For more than two years, the councillors and officials had been complaining that a sprawling land in Sammittipuram was “grabbed” by an individual. Heated discussions on the issue were witnessed in the council halls often. Members cutting across party lines had expressed their anguish over the failure to construct the stadium in memory of former Deputy Mayor D. Chinnasamy.

Councillors had demanded action against an official who was “instrumental” in the private person “grabbing” the land through an ex-parte verdict given by a lower court. The members also questioned how the Corporation had spent lakhs of rupees for constructing compound wall around the land and a toilet, if it did not belong to the local body.

However, a couple of days back, Commissioner S. Sebastine clarified that no one had claimed ownership of the land.

“The civil dispute was only over construction of a toilet on the land adjoining a temple and not about the ownership,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Mayor, G. Thenmozhi, and Commissioner along with other senior officials inspected the land. The Mayor instructed the officials to level the ground, construct compound wall and make it a playground.

“You also put up a board stating that it is Corporation land,” she said.

Just as she was talking to the officials, a group of people came to the Mayor claiming that the land belonged to the temple. “We will take care of the land,” one of them said.

The Commissioner asked them to meet him at his office to discuss the matter.

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