The Tamil Nadu government is planning to monetise the assets owned by religious institutions under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department by productively utilising them.
A tender for selecting an agency for preparation of the roadmap for the proposal was recently floated.
“The assets are not productively utilised and there are also instances of encroachments. In order to monetise the assets by productive utilisation, the department has decided to take up projects with funding by temples or by involving private developers,” the tender document said.
Contending that the Tamil Nadu government was “involved in the administration of Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments so as to enable their religious autonomy, financial viability and sustained development,” it pointed out a total of 38,652 Hindu and Jain religious institutions were under the control of the HR&CE Department.
These temples owned large parcels of land comprising of commercial, residential, mixed residential, agricultural categories, among others and these lands are located in municipal corporations, municipalities, town panchayats and village panchayats.
According to the proposal, the ownership of the properties would be retained by the respective temples, while the development rights for a specific period was being proposed to be offered to the developers. “The income generated from monetisation would be utilised for the development of respective temples.”
Arulmigu Dhandeeshwarar Thirukovil at Velachery in Chennai under the control of HR&CE Department has proposed to appoint a consultancy agency for preparation of a road map for the monetisation process for all 38,652 Hindu and Jain religious institutions under the control of the Department.
The scope of work for the firm to be selected would include suggesting suitable activities that could be taken up in the lands owned by temples by utilising either own funds or lease or under PPP mode or JV mode without any change in ownership and suggesting suitable development model.
The firm would also prepare a model concession agreement for each development model in line with Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders (Public Private Partnership Procurement) Rules, 2012.