‘Pilferage from temples checked, all properties in State identified’
The 13th century Sosale Sri Vyasaraja Math is now firmly under the control of the Karnataka government, and pilferage from the temples and other infrastructure of the math has been checked even as efforts are on to recover some of the immoveable assets which are said to be in the possession of some people.
The government-appointed administrator of the math, K. Jairaj, told The Hindu that while all the properties of the math in Karnataka had been identified, there were still vast properties in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and efforts were on to take control of them even as identification of the properties and their valuation was in progress.
The State government appointed an administrator for the math, for a two-year term, in May 2012 after a series of complaints over misappropriation and misuse of the math’s properties. Given the fact that the task is incomplete, there is the likelihood that the term of the administrator will be extended. The former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah is the chairman of the advisory committee which has been constituted to guide the administrator.
Mr. Jairaj said the math had received huge donations for several centuries, including gold jewellery dating back to the Vijayanagara rulers. Some of its prime properties had either been alienated or even rented out for a paltry income by the seers of the math over the last few decades. Some of the properties that have been recently recovered include a choultry comprising nearly 45 rooms at Tirumala. With the support of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams “we have been successful in recovering the property”. There were still some prime properties in Chennai and other places, and efforts were on to recover them, he said.
Giving details of the action initiated to take back the properties and restoring administration in the branches, he said, “Since the takeover of the administration there has been a comprehensive administrative and financial reorganisation of the math, and properties belonging to the institution are being safeguarded. The total income of the math is now Rs. 4.88 crore with a net savings of Rs. 1.25 crore. The math owned more than 3,000 acres of land near Bidadi in Bangalore Rural district and these valuable lands are now in the possession of unauthorised persons.
Improvements have been made at the math’s branch on Govindappa Road in the city, Mysore, Sosale, Srirangapatna and Tirumakoodalu in Mysore district. Works would be taken up on Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, one of the major revenue earning centres, and Bannur in Mysore district, Kanakapura in Bangalore Rural district and Mulbagal in Kolar district.
Devotees have requested for providing facilities at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. Borewells would be sunk at Vyasarajapura and Sosale in Mysore district. The wages/salaries of priests, managers and other sub-staff had been increased through two pay revisions. The allowance of Rs. 50,000 a month which was paid to the seer has, however, been suspended since he was reportedly in receipt of income from some of the properties.
Keywords: Sosale Vyasaraja Math