Dindigul, Jan 11 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government has retrieved about 40,000 hectares of temple land from encroachers in the last five years and the drive against them would continue, Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Minister Sevoor S Ramachandran said here on Monday.
He said the drive was expedited following the intervention of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who had ordered a survey of temple lands across the state.
'The department officials evicted the encroachers and put the land to proper use.
Members of the public who come across genuine cases of encroachments into temple lands can inform the HR & CE officials for appropriate action,' the minister said while inaugurating a new building for the office of Joint Commissioner of HR & CE here.
Also, the officials took stock of the lands that did not fetch fair rent, he said.
Forest minister Dindigul C Srinivasan said that not only temple lands, even encroached forest lands were retrieved.
Temple properties worth over Rs 100 crore were recovered in Salem by the HR and CE authorities after Hindu Munnani and Thiru Thondar Peravai (Saiva Devotees Forum) took up the issue.
In December 2020, the department recovered temple lands whose collective market value is said to be over Rs 67 crore, in Chennai. PTI JSP APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR