Temple land acquisition woes: Reimbursement challenges and alleged manipulation

Temple land acquisition woes: Reimbursement challenges and alleged manipulation

TSIIC acquires 1,138.12 acres of Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple lands

Hyderabad: The endowments officials are clueless on how to proceed to get back money from the occupiers who were given compensation in lieu of the land acquisition by the TSIIC. The officials said that they have written to the district collector and are waiting for their response.

According to officials, the 1,138.12 acres of temple lands in survey numbers 1163 to 1673 belonging to Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple situated at Sitarampur in in Shabad mandal in the Rangareddy district was acquired by the TSIIC (Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation). The government has decided to have an industrial park in these lands and found that 800 acres were encroached by local farmers and registered their names in revenue records under processors column and the name of the temple in Pattadar column. The TSIIC and revenue department had organised ‘Grama Sabha’ in March, which was opposed by the farmers who were cultivating in these lands. Some of the occupiers were paid Rs 21 lakhs per acre.

The department officials are now clueless on how to get back the money from the occupiers. A senior official said that they have written to the District Collector recently and were waiting for the reply. Sources said that even in the case of money issued in the name of deity, the authorities deposited the money in a private bank. As per the rules, the authorities should deposit the money in any of the nationalised banks. However, the money was deposited in the private banks. When asked, it was told that the directions were received from the higher officials.

The official said that they had fixed deposits in the private bank and they would have to wait till February to get back the money. However, when the official was informed that the report sent to the commissioner said that they had deposited in the savings bank account of SBI at Chevella, the official said that he had no information as he was given incharge responsibility.

The Rashtriya Vanarasena, which filed a case on this episode had also met the Governor and gave a memorandum.

Vanarsena President N Rami Reddy said that with the help of the endowments department, the revenue department, and other higher officials, the land grabbers were manipulating the land records and alienating these temple lands and minting crores of rupees.

However, the Endowments department has no conviction to safeguard temples and recover thousands of acres of lost temple lands, he alleged.

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