Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department Minister P.K. Sekar Babu on Monday said that lands belonging to various temples, valued at ₹ 3,943 crore, had been retrieved by the department in the last 20 months. In an effort to protect temple lands, the department had put up fences around them and installed boards mentioning the names of temples they belonged to on such lands measuring one lakh acres.
Speaking to the media at the airport here, Mr. Sekar Babu said the department had collected rent arrears to the tune of ₹280 crore in the last 20 months. Replying to a query, the Minister said it had been decided to conduct consecration of temples in the State in both Sanskrit and Tamil within the ambit of ‘Aagama’ rules, adding that mantras in Tamil would definitely be rendered during the consecration of Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple at Palani.
To a query, he said based on Chief Minister’s direction, lands belonging to temples which were encroached were being steadily retrieved by the department. Mr. Sekar Babu further said that 282 idols stolen from various temples had been recovered.