The Srirangam Residents Welfare Association has called off a day-long fast proposed to be observed by its members on Sunday to draw the attention of the government to the continuing stalemate in the dispute between the Srirangam temple authorities and residents over the ownership of properties in a large area in the temple town.
The Association had called for a one-day fast on Sunday in Srirangam to highlight the “plight of owners” of properties that are claimed to be temple lands. The issue had been simmering for the past few years as a large number of property owners with pattas were not able to sell or pledge their properties after the temple authorities claimed ownership rights.
Property transactions, especially around the Srirangam temple, are not being registered over the past few years in view of the dispute. The property owners claim that they have purchased the lands and pattas have been issued through settlements reached at different periods in the past.
The matter became a campaign issue during the Assembly election with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa promising steps to sort out the problem. Despite the Chief Minister’s assurance, no decision has been taken by the government on the issue over the past one year, the association regretted.
Revenue officials held talks with the association representatives a couple of days back after the association announced its agitation plan. On Friday, a delegation of the association representatives led by its honorary president Dikshithar Balasubramanian, president Mohan Ram and vice president Hemanathan met Collector Jayashree Muralidharan to brief her on the issue.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the representatives said the association has decided to call off the proposed agitation on Sunday as the Collector has assured to take necessary action on the issue.
Official sources said the Collector had requested the association members to furnish all supporting documents to enable her to follow up on the issue with higher authorities. Mr.Balasubramanian said anxiety prevailed among residents who own properties in several parts of the town owing to the dispute. The Srirangam issue is different from those concerning temple lands in other parts of the State. “Here the residents hold pattas after having purchased the lands whereas in other places the issue is a question of tenancy rights of occupants of temple lands,” he said.