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Temple dues: names of defaulters to be displayed

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Sat Oct 02 1999 - 08:23:06 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas
Apropos to the recent discussions on the plight of temples in which we had 
highlighted the apathy of the Government, here is an encouraging news 
reported in the The Hindu on indiaserver.com : 

Let us hope that this will help temples in India to secure their dues for 
maintenance and renovation etc. at least to some extent, provided it is 
followed up effectively.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Temple dues: names of defaulters to be 
displayed

      Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com

      Saturday, October 02, 1999

      Temple dues: names of defaulters to be displayed 

      By Our Special Correspondent 

      CHENNAI, OCT. 1. As part of the measures to retrieve temple land held 
by 

      encroachers and collect rent arrears from tenants, the Government is 

      planning to prominently display in temple premises a list of names of 

      those who are in illegal possession of temple properties and dodging 

      payment of rent. 

      Rent arrears from temple land alone is estimated at Rs. 77 crores while 

      the deprivation of income from vacant land, buildings and other sources 
is 

      put at another Rs. 20 crores. 

      Recourse to the ``painful but inevitable step'' of displaying notice 

      boards is meant to bring ``moral pressure'' on the transgressors, force 

      them to pay up the dues and restore the properties to the temples. 

      The response to such a strategy adopted recently in respect of some 
major 

      temples was encouraging, Mr. M. Tamizhkudimagan, Minister for HR & CE, 

      told TheHindu today. 

      He said that the number of vacant sites, shops and buildings belonging 
to 

      temples in the State was around 56,000 and it was found that nearly 
30,000 

      persons were ``benamis'' paying a pittance as rent all these years. 

      Instructions had been issued to the HR & CE officials to collect rent 

      according to market value in respect of each place or evict the 

      defaulters. This step was bound to bring in a substantial income to the 

      temples. 

      The Minister said that over 1,000 cases registered against those who 
had 

      failed to pay up rent arrears were now before the revenue courts. 
Further 

      action on the recovery of rent arrears would be decided at a meeting of 

      Joint Commissioners of HR & CE to be held next week. 

      A major breakthrough after a long legal battle was the recent retrieval 
by 

      the HR & CE department of 220 grounds of prime land in Chennai which 

      belonged to an ancient temple in the city, said Mr. Tamizhkudimagan. 

      Enquiries show that in Chennai alone there are over 450 identified 
temple 

      properties in the illegal possession of encroachers, many of whom have 

      converted them into residential units, lodging houses, etc. 
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