Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments P.K. Sekarbabu said on Sunday that temple land worth ₹1,640 crore had been recovered since the DMK returned to power.
He told journalists here that the government had recovered the temple land from encroachers. Appealing to the other encroachers to quit the temple property, which belonged to the “deity”, he said the drive would continue and measures would be taken during this year itself to improve the recovered land.
Asked about BJP president K. Annamalai’s charge that the State government was merely renaming the Union government’s schemes, Mr. Sekarbabu said that Tamil Nadu was receiving its share of taxes (through the Union government’s schemes). The BJP leader should support the constructive development projects. It was BJP members who were moving courts against the initiatives of his Department, he alleged.
The State government permitted worship at religious places since midnight December 31, 2021, on account of New Year, proving that the DMK was not against spirituality, he said.
Alternative quarters would be constructed for the personnel living with their families at the Anjaneya temple at Namakkal, besides accommodation for devotees.
Mr. Sekarbabu said the plan to monetise the gold offerings to temples was being carried out under the supervision of three retired judges at three temples in accordance with court direction. Trustees would soon be appointed for these temples, and the gold would be smelted at the Union government-recognised smelting plant in Mumbai. The money thus generated would be used for the development of the respective temples and amenities for devotees. The plan would be carried out without delay at temples with hereditary trustees in accordance with court directions.
Mr. Sekarbabu said steps were being taken to lay a road to the Nainamalai temple and a feasibility study was under way for operating a rope car to the Tiruchengode temple.
The Minister visited various temples in the district, along with Minister for Tourism M. Mathiventhan and Namakkal Collector Shreya P. Singh. They offered worship at the Anjaneya temple, where the deity was adorned with a 1.08-lakh ‘vada malai’ on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanthi.