TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Travancore Devaswom Board(TDB) has approached the state government seeking assistance from the Revenue Department for reclaiming its encroached properties. Following this, the government is considering a plan to assign a special team of Revenue officers to help the TDB in identifying the properties which have been encroached upon.Earlier, TDB president A Padmakumar had alleged the Revenue Department was not cooperating with the board on the issue.
The board, in its complaint to the government alleged the Revenue Department was not providing information on the encroached properties despite repeated requests. During Prayar Gopalakrishnan’s tenure as TDB president, the board had prepared a report on the encroached properties. It said 3,000 acres of TDB land were under illegal occupation. Though the 1,250 temples and other institutions under the TDB own 5,000 acres of land, only 2,000 acres are under actual possession.
Of the 3,000 acres, the board faced disputes with regard to 550 acres.The encroachers of TDB land include private individuals and institutions like the local self-governments and government offices, officers said. Recently, the TDB had conducted a joint survey with the Forest Department at Sabarimala.
According to the TDB, its 70 acres of land were illegally occupied by the Forest Department there. The survey was ordered by the High Court on the basis of the TDB’s request. The board wants to set up parking and other facilities for pilgrims on the land.