Chief Secretary and Chief Devaswom Commissioner K Jayakumar has directed the Revenue Department to conduct a resurvey of the 119 hectares at Nilackal, including the 110 hectares of land handed over to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) from the State Farming Corporation on a payment of `8 crore and the nine hectares of land under the ownership of TDB where the Lord Siva and Palliyarackau Devi temples are located.
The directive by the Chief Secretary was in the wake of a controversial move by the Forest Department issuing a letter to the TDB authorities at Nilackal, claiming ownership over the nine hectares of land in TDB custody.
Jayakumar said that the Forest Department issued the order without following proper guidelines and without doing any homework on the ownership of land at Nilackal.
The letter issued by the Palappally deputy forest range officer to the Devaswom assistant engineer at Nilackal the other day, barred the Devaswom authorities from entering or removing the rubber trees on the nine hectares of TDB land.
The surprising fact is that the TDB, during the term of G Raman Nair as president, made a payment of about `8 crore to the Forest Department in lieu of the 110 hectares of land at Nilackal for setting up the pilgrim satellite township.
Without going into the ownership details of the land at Nilackal, where the TDB has had the ownership of nine hectares of land where Lord Siva temple and Palliyarackavu temple were located much before even the Farming Corporation came into existence, the Forest Department has obviously issued the letter in haste.