VISAKHAPATNAM: In order to protect its lands in the district, the endowment department has set up a nine-member Land Protection Cell (LPC).
According to assistant endowments commissioner EV Pushpavardhan, there are as many as 976 temples in the district, which have been recognised by the government, of which 128 temples own 22,000 acres of land. While 7,000 acres of the land has been occupied by private people and few organisations, the rest of 15,000 acres are under the control of the department. “To protect the 15,000 acres from land grabbers, the department has set up the land protection cell. The LPC will keep a close watch on the endowment lands spread across the district and comprises the employees of department including Jagannatha Rao, Rambabu, Srinivasa Rao and Ramanjaneyulu as its members,” he said and added that registration of endowment lands is not valid, according to Section 81.
Admitting that some of the employees were involved in land grabbing, Pushpavardhan informed that they were all suspended from duties. The LPC will work from 10.30 am to 5 pm and people can contact the members over 0891-2565109.