Endowments Department to take back `encroached' land
source: The Hindu, February 27 2004
VISAKHAPATNAM, FEB. 26. The Endowments Department has initiated steps to take back about 12.5 acres of land valued at about Rs. 26 crores in the busy Yellamanchili town of Visakhapatnam district.
According to Assistant Commissioner, S. Kondala Rao, the department had recently noticed that 250 houses had come up on the land and immediately served notice to the encroachers. "A door-to-door survey was conducted. We will take measures to get back our money through regularisation of the unauthorised constructions or evict them for auctioning the land,'' he told reporters on Thursday.
Similarly, about 9.5 acres of land in the heart of Vizianagaram was also under illegal occupation. It was pure commercial land which was being enjoyed by the encroachers in the name of farm lands to be given to the landless poor. Urban land could not be given to the urban poor and had to be auctioned, he pointed out.
Almost every temple in villages had its own immovable property in the form of lands which were invariably occupied by land-grabbers and those who had earlier taken them on lease. Though orders were issued that all lease agreements of Endowment lands were void quite some time ago, they still remained under unauthorised occupation, he said.
"While the temple priests starve and there is no money for conducting rituals, these unauthorised persons have become millionaires. It is time that the lands are recovered and income generated for the purpose of maintaining temples,'' Mr. Kondala felt.