CHENNAI: HR and CE Minister Sevvoor S Ramachandran on Thursday said that during the past two years, his department had recovered 3,102 acres of land, 691 grounds of plots and buildings in 237 grounds belonging to various temples across the State, from encroachments.
The total value of these lands is Rs 3,082.68 crore. Besides, patta rights of assets of 1,049 temples in 6,839 acres were transferred to temples concerned.
In a statement here, the minister said all temples had committees comprising VAOs, land surveyors and representatives of temples to identify encroachments in temple lands. So far, assets belonging to 35,973 temples have been identified.
He also said the records relating to lands of 35,371 temples were being verified with the original records and this work would be completed very soon. While 9,996 tenants in temple lands have paid `24.03 crore towards rent, legal steps were being taken to recover dues form defaulters.
As far as safety of idols is concerned, information regarding 3,42,000 statues of HR and CE temples have been computerised while 5,024 burglar alarms and 1,609 surveillance cameras have been fixed in temples to avoid theft. Besides, 1,599 security personnel were guarding the temples round the clock.
For the safety of temples, a task force comprising 1,000 police personnel and 3,000 ex-servicemen had been functioning. Steps were being taken to form a task force with 2,000 police personnel. As many as 8,128 panchaloha idols are kept in 19 special centres.