: Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has accused the government of trying to hand over prime property near the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple at East Fort to a private organisation that had reclaimed the Pathrakulam tank and was keeping it in illegal possession.

In a press note issued here on Saturday, he said the government was making hasty arrangements to hand over the property estimated to cost Rs.150 crore to the organisation. The press note said the illegal reclamation of the tank had played havoc with the natural drainage system in the Fort area, leading to flooding during the rain.

Mr. Achuthanandan said a paper organisation headed by a former Chief Secretary had reclaimed the tank and was now making money by leasing it out. “The previous government had recovered the land and issued an order. With the Supreme Court considering a case relating to the protection of the temple and its properties and assets, the current government is making a frantic bid to hand over the land to the private organisation, sparking concern about a massive scam”.