TN Minister tasks officials to retrieve nearly 100 grounds of land in Chennai owned by temple

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Chennai, Jun 13 (PTI) A 32-ground land parcel here worth crores of rupees and owned by a Shiva temple was taken over by authorities on Sunday while officials were directed to initiate action to take possession of nearly more 100 grounds of land belonging to the same shrine, the government said.

The temple's executive officer took over possession of land and buildings on Poonamallee High (PH) Road in downtown Kilpauk here, an official release here said adding Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister P K Sekar Babu and top officials were present.

The HR & CE Minister directed officials to initiate action including taking up survey work to take over an additional chunk of 96.5 grounds, also belonging to the same temple.

In total, Sri Ekambaranathar temple in Kancheepuram owned 141 grounds (each ground is 2,400 sq ft) on PH road here, the release said. The total land parcel is estimated to be worth at least Rs 350 crore.

Following completion of a 99-year lease to a charitable trust which ran a school on the premises, the matter went to the Madras High Court.

After the court's ruling, the trust administration handed over the land and buildings to the temple's executive officer here on Sunday in the presence of senior officials including Principal Secretary (Tourism, Culture and Endowments) B Chandra Mohan.

Years ago, land measuring 12.5 grounds, also owned by the same temple was handed over by the trust, which ran Seetha Kingston School on PH road to authorities and with the present handover, the trust has handed back 44.5 grounds that it had in its possession previously.

Out of the total 141 grounds owned by the temple, 44.5 grounds have been taken over by authorities and in respect of the remainder of 96.5 grounds, action would be taken, the government said. PTI VGN ROH ROH

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