Temples struggle to get back assets
  • http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/22/stories/2009012259380300.htm

    A. Srivathsan

    "Response from Revenue Department less helpful"

    CHENNAI: The revenue records show that about 10 acres in
    Valasarawakkam belong to the Agatheeswarar-Velveeswarar temples. But
    the temples are neither in possession of the land nor do they get any
    revenue from it. Many private houses have been built on these lands
    and there are claims and counter claims regarding the title.

    Correspondences made available to The Hindu show that the temple
    officials have repeatedly written to the Revenue Department asking for
    the copies of the original documents so that they can effectively
    delineate and recover the property. "Without securing all documents,
    it would not be wise to legally contest this. As a last attempt, we
    have now filed an RTI asking for detailed information about the
    properties" says a temple official.

    Many more temples in and around Chennai have prime properties but have
    difficulties in either possessing them or collecting rent from their

    There are about 700 tenants on the temple lands of Tiruvalleeswarar
    Temple in Padi. "For long, the temple struggled to collect rent. Only
    now some have come forward to pay," says the official. Prime temple
    properties in Nungambakkam are occupied by about 300 tenants. Even
    when the rent was as low as Rs.2 per sq.ft, there were tenants who had
    not paid the dues. A senior government official also pointed to a
    dispute involving about three acres of temple land that has somehow
    become a part of a major real estate project in west Chennai.

    The temples face two kinds of problem. One is the adverse possession
    of land and the other is collection and upward revision of rent. Not
    all temples have their land documents in full. Few of them have only
    revenue extracts dating back to 1870s. Other related documents are

    The Parasuraman Eswaran Temple at Ayanavaram owns 200 grounds of land.
    Though the temple has the patta, it has not got a copy of all the
    documents relating to its ownership.

    When contacted, a senior revenue official told The Hindu that even an
    authorised extract is a valid document and the temple could legally
    pursue claims.

    However, the temple authorities say unless they posses all documents,
    it may be difficult to secure the land. In this context, they find the
    response from the Revenue Department less helpful. "We do not get
    replies to our requests for authorised copies of documents" complained
    a temple official.

    In cases where the ownership of land is clearly established in favour
    of the temple, the building belongs to the tenant. In such dual
    ownerships of property, sale of property is prohibited but only name
    transfers, subject to conditions, are possible. In addition land rent
    has to be paid to the temple. Many prospective buyers do not check the
    antecedents and end up buying temple properties, explained a senior
    government official.

    "Some of the government orders in the recent past have helped temples
    revise and fix fair rent and also improve collection. With cooperation
    from the public and support from revenue officials, we would able to
    secure many temple properties. The temples have no time limitations in
    recovering property and we would make all efforts to do so," he adds.
  • -HI

    the hindu temples in tamilnadu are perhaps the wealthiest if you take
    into account the lands they possess

    but their revenues are less

    sometime back a religious preacher told me 'its wrong to tell people
    of other religions looted out temples.what we are losing today by non
    paid revenues or low rents for temple properties is perhaps a hundred
    times more than what was looted by malik kafur or ghazni. and the
    culprits are mainly hindus.'

    it was shocking but true.

    i remember a kalvettu at the entrance of the amman shrine in
    a couple had bequeathed a property on mowbarys road to the temple and
    issue a proclamation on who has a right to question its
    missappropriation. they say anybody who comes to the temple to pray
    can question.
  • Hi All,

    Its basically the end-result of the behaviour and attitude imbibed by the persons involved in such activities, followed by the passing down of the same behaviour and attitude to the next and subsequent generations. Whether it is Sivan soththu or makkal soththu.
  • Highly inappropriate and misleading. Like comparing a violent riot, mass
    murder and looting executed in a short span of time to the routine, day
    to day theft, murder, cheating and personal violation.

    The religious preacher is a truly secular, politically correct and fit
    for a political post!

  • Dear friends

    If you go through the inscription you can find the Vaishnava Temples lent money to merchants and charged 35% interest per month.

    They mercilessly acquired the properties and made the defaulters as slaves and extracted work from him.

    They collected a goat or cow from newly married couples at the time of their marriages.

    I request all of you to read more on this

    The Revenue system of Cholas
    New Era Publications, 1987

    The Gods who collected generations ago are repaying their debt. Thats all

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