Armed with High Court order and helped by police, authorities pull down structures in One Town Vijayawada

Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam has finally taken possession of C. V. Reddy Charities land located in One Town.

The temple officials, armed with High Court order in their favour, descended on C. V. Reddy Charities land where a few shops were being run on lease basis. Temple Executive Officer (EO) K. Prabhakara Srinivas on Tuesday asked the lessees to vacate the place in view of the High Court orders. The shopkeepers initially resisted, but had to give in ultimately. With the help of police, the temple authorities pulled down the structures that included big godowns owned by politicians as well.

When contacted, Mr. Srinivas said that the value of 3.5 acres of land would be between Rs. 200 crore and Rs. 250 crore. Some more structures would have to be pulled down to level the land. The scrap and construction debris would be sold immediately to go ahead with the development plans. The temple would draw up necessary plans to use the land for pilgrim conveniences. And, it would take more time, he said.

Chunduru Venkata Reddy, a devotee, donated the land to the temple in 2007 with a request that the proceedings on the land should be used for the benefit of poor people and patients. He urged the Endowments Department to provide scholarships to poor students and extend medical facilities to the needy.

When the land was handed over to the temple, 36 shops were situated on it. Of them, 12 shopkeepers vacated their shops as soon as the land was donated to the temple. Remaining 24 shopkeepers approached the High Court. In due course, of the total litigants, 18 shopkeepers vacated the premises.

Remaining six shopkeepers were not willing to move out saying they had been doing business there for decades. They even roped in politicians to mount pressure on the authorities and maintain status quo.

The temple authorities filed caveat petition as soon as the High Court pronounced its judgment so as to ensure that the litigants did not make any other move to bring stay on taking possession of the land.

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