AUCTION OF MANDIR LANDS
source: Eenadu, March 30, 2006
7000 ACRES IN PHASE I. SALE TO FETCH Rs. 20,000 CRORES.
GREEN FLAG BY THE CHIEF MINISTER. PROCESS TO START IN APRIL:
Even though numerous Mandirs in the State have no one to light Deepam, some have plenty of landed properties. State Government has decided to sell off such lands located in the urban areas. In the first phase7000 acres of lands located in other States will be sold. From this the Government is trying to raise Rs.20,000 crores. Government says such sale proceeds will be deposited by them in the accounts of the respective Mandirs and see that the interest will be put at their disposal for their expenditure. However, Government sources themselves are not ruling out the possibility of diverting such liquid amounts to irrigation or some such projects.
Chief Minister YS has reviewed the proposal to sell the Mandir Lands on Wednesday, in the presence of Endowments Minister J.C.Diwakar Reddy. J.C.Diwakar Reddy told the newspersons that the CM has ordered to sell Mandir lands in 'open auction'. It is now known that in Hyderabad city itself about 2000 acres of land would be sold and in similar scale, lands of Simhachalam Devasthanam located in Visakhapatnam District too would be sold. The lands listed for auction include lands near Tirupathi and Vijayawada. It is simultaneously decided to regularize the sale of Ghatkesar Trust lands of Hyderabad sold some time ago as per the market rate. Several VIPs including Hero Nagarjuna feature in the people who purchased the above lands. This Trust still has a land of 300 acres. Government wants to auction these lands too. However, it is noteworthy to see that Revenue Department claims this land is their property since they recognized it as 'surplus land'.
Endowments Department has 180,000 acres in the State of which 30,000 acres are located in the Urban areas. Along with these, lands too are there in other States. In the past, Guntur Amaravathi Devasthanam's Sadavarthi Chowltry has donated 450 acres on the Mahabalipuram Road, prime place of Chennai. People have built permanent buildings on 300 acres of this donated land. The encroached lands were identified with the help of Tamil Nadu Government and regularize as per the market rate. Remaining 150‑ acres would be auctioned off. A delegation led by Diwakar Reddy is going to Chennai to discuss the issue there. In the middle of Bangalore's Basavanagudi, 12 acres is situated. Of this, 6 acres is under encroachment and remaining part with Endowments Department. Encroachments shall be regularized and remaining lands auctioned off. There are lands in Mumbai too and they too would be hived off.
Official sources told the sale process would begin in a month's time. When our correspondent asked if Committees would oversee the auction process, JC said no such need is there. Apart from this, for encroachments at District level, District Collector shall be the Chairman, Executive Officer of the concerned Mandir, Vice‑Chairman/Municipal Commissioner of the concerned place and Police Commissioner of the District would constitute the members of the Committee. He also said that Government would approach the High Court for permission in view of the interim stay imposed by it is pending.