CHENNAI: For the first time, the State government is unlocking 2.14 acres of temple land for the purpose of building affordable homes for the poor as well as developing it for commercial purpose.
It is learnt that Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department will lease 2.14 acres of land belonging to the Arulmigu Thiagarajar Swamy Temple in Tiruvottiyur to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) for 30 years to develop it.
Sources said the 2.14-acre land would be divided into two and used for residential and commercial purposes. A committee formed by the HR&CE department to fix the rent for both commercial and residential purposes, has drawn up a 19-point charter for leasing out the land to the TNSCB.
This is the first time temple lands are being unlocked to provide affordable homes as well as for commercial purposes.
Official sources said the land had been divided for commercial and residential uses. A total of 1.17 acre will be given for residential development and the TNSCB has to pay Rs 1.53 lakh as rent a month.
Similarly, 0.97 acres of land will be leased out for commercial purpose and the committee has fixed the rent at Rs 3.8 lakh a month.
The commercial land once developed by the TNSCB will be auctioned and 10 per cent of the auction amount or the rent (Rs 3.8 lakh a month), whichever is higher, will be given to the temple trust.
It was also decided that a six-month rent will be paid upfront as advance to the temple. Every three years, the rent will be increased by 15 pc. Even the advance amount has to be increased by 15 pc every three years. The maintenance of buildings and land will be taken care of by the TNSCB.
The move comes as the Tamil Nadu government is facing pressure over construction of 8.30 lakh houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in urban areas as it doesn’t have enough funds or land to build homes for the houseless.
As per official records, there is a requirement of 1,630 acres of land to build the houses under the Affordable Housing in Partnership in Chennai alone as a majority of the houseless people living in slums are from the city.
Since the government land that can be used for constructing houses in Chennai is negligible, it is learnt that the State government is identifying surplus land with various departments so that it can be transferred to the TNSCB to construct homes for the houseless.
Even the TN Housing Board facing land crunch is seeking amendments to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Act, 2017 after the rules have been notified by the State government.
Deal for 30 years
1.17 acres will become a residential area.
Rs 1.53 lakh - Monthly rent to be paid on the residential area.
0.97 acres will become a commercial development.
Rs 3.8 lakh - Monthly rent to be paid on commercial areas.