Tenants hand over acres of land belonging to the Kapaliswarar Temple. A month ago, the Deputy Commissioner identified 39 tenants who were using the temple property for long. He asked them to produce papers to prove their ownership rights, failing which they would be treated as land grabbers.

Recently Kapaliswarar Temple was in the news reason being land worth crores of rupees was in possession of various parties and attempts were being made to retrieve the same. Thanks to the efforts taken by A.T. Paranjothi, DC, HR & CE.

A month ago, the Deputy Commissioner identified 39 tenants who were using the temple property for long. He asked them to produce papers to prove their ownership rights, failing which they would be treated as land grabbers. He warned that he would not hesitate to take criminal action against them and gave them two weeks time to produce the relevant documents.

Taking the cue, about 70 per cent of the tenants approached him and said that they were in possession of documents on the superstructure and were also willing to surrender it to the temple. They also requested him to treat them as tenants of the temple and expressed their willingness to pay a fair rent fixed by the HR & CE Board.

30-crore worth of land

Early this week, about 4.5 grounds of land were handed back to the temple. “The property is worth around Rs. 30 crores,” pointed out the DC. “Mr. Annamalai, who had sublet this piece of land to an advertising agency, has handed it over to us. We plan to secure the property by fencing it,” disclosed the DC.

Going into details, Mr. Paranjothi said that it is just the tip of the iceberg. “The temple has about 25 grounds of land opposite Kamadhenu Theatre. In 1898, it was given for a 99-year lease to Sunderaraja Iyengar. He in turn had built several small residential buildings on it. Later on, the superstructures were sold in bits and pieces to nearly 35 people. After the demise of Sunderaraja Iyengar, the property was enjoyed by his descendant Murrari. In 1998, when the lease got over, the HR & CE Board issued notice to him and to others to vacate the premises. There was no response from any of them. Again in 2001, 2005 and 2010 further notices were issued to the tenants to hand over the property back to the temple, but in vain. When they were told that they would be treated as land grabbers, many decided to hand it over to us and we slowly got back what rightfully belongs to the temple.”

From The Mylapore Club

The temple has also reclaimed about 18 grounds of land from The Mylapore Club, Luz, after the 100-year lease got over.

According to the lease agreement, the Club should have handed over the land in 2007, but it did not do so. However, in the past two months, Mr. Paranjothi persuaded them to hand over the area which consists of two tennis courts (15-grounds) and the Ranade Library (three-grounds) to the Board.

“This property is worth Rs. 126 crores today. We are planning to use this space as a two-wheeler and four-wheeler parking lot. It will be a paid parking zone and will be much sought after by office goers. The proceeds will go the temple. With all this recovery, the temple will be earning a revenue of Rs. 2 crores per annum,” concluded Mr. Paranjothi.

RELATED NEWS

Culture & HeritageMay 14, 2012