Properties worth ₹14 crore belonging to the Kasi Vishwanathaswamy Temple in West Mambalam were retrieved by officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department on Tuesday.
Tenants of the properties, which were leased out as empty plots on Lake View Street, Patel Street and Kasi Vishwanathaswamy Temple Street, had not paid rent for nearly 30 years and the arrears amounted to ₹4.60 crore. A case, which had been fought for 20 years, recently settled in favour of the department.
The original lessee had sub-let the properties to mechanic sheds, flower vendors, lathe shops and two small eateries. Though that person had collected rent from these shops, the money had not been deposited with the department. The lessee had also gone missing for several years and these shopkeepers had no place to pay rents during that period.
Officials including HR&CE Assistant Commissioner Bhaskaran and temple executive officer J. Chozhamadevi, police personnel, revenue department officials and temple staff were present during the operationto lock and seal these three properties.