Temple lands encroached

Temple lands encroached

In Nirmal district, the home district of Endowments Minister Indrakaran Reddy, hundreds of acres of temple land have been  encroached. According to...

Adilabad: Temple lands worth several lakhs of rupees are allegedly being encroached by vested interests in Adilabad, Mancherial, Nirmal and Asifabad districts. While some are encroaching temple lands, some others adopted tenant farmer route to corner the lands.

In Nirmal district, the home district of Endowments Minister Indrakaran Reddy, hundreds of acres of temple land have been encroached. According to the figures furnished by the Endowments Department, there are 72 temples with lands endowed to them. In almost all temples, the endowment lands are under encroachment of vested interests.

In Kadem mandal, the entire landholding of 29.30 acres of Sri Rajarajeswari temple with a market value of over Rs 3 crore was encroached. Similarly, of the 22.32 acres belonging to Lord Hanuman temple in Bhainsa town, 6.34 acres are encroached.

The Udasi Math in Nirmal has 2.06 acres of land endowed to it. The unscrupulous elements occupied the entire land.In Sone village, Lord Narasimha Swamy temple has 44.27 acres. Of it, 21.37 acres are occupied by vested interests. The encroachers are stated to be drawing up plans to encroach the rest of the 23 acres as well.

A resident of Sone village, Vinay has urged the authorities to take steps to recover the encroached lands. Another villager Narsaiah attributed the encroachment going on unchecked to officials turning a blind eye to the goings on for decades’ altogether.

The encroachers did not spare even the Basara Saraswati temple from grabbing its land. Of the 160 acres of the temple, 32.38 acres was under the occupation of encroachers. Some priests and influential people of the area figured among the encroachers.

Of the more than 200 acres of endowment lands encroached in the district, the authorities managed to evict the encroachers from 124 acres.

Encroachers are tilling about 85 acres of temple lands. They are also not hesitating to sell them to others as if they are their own lands. Cases were filed against 33 encroachers of the temple lands.

In Adilabad district, there are 24 temples. In Adilabad town, the Marwadi Dharmasala has precious 31.08 acres endowed to it. Of it, 22.19 acre was encroached and raised heavy structures on it. The market value of the lands encroached is said to be around Rs 15 crore.

Local BJP leader Suresh breathed fire on officials for not bothering to check encroachments. The officials have turned a blind eye to the encroachment of Jainath temple lands. However, the officials recovered 2.35 acres of temple lands from encroachers in Asifabad district.

In Mancherial district, the officials identified encroachments on 15 acres of temple lands were removed. Endowments deputy commissioner Vijaya Ramana told The Hans India that temple lands to a large extent were subjected to encroachments in Adilabad and Nirmal districts. He said that measures to get the encroachments removed would be initiated.

The people of Nirmal district have been appealing to Indrakaran Reddy to take stringent action against the encroachers and pave the way for development of temples.

-By Thotla Chinna Anjaiah

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