Hyderabad: Encroachment of precious lands belonging to Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple in Devaryamjal in Shamirpet mandal came to the fore after a person filed a case in Lok Ayukta a few years ago.
According to the temple management and the Endowments Department, the temple owns 1,531.13 acres of land in survey numbers 55 to 63, 212 to 218, 513 to 586, 639 to 699 and 700 to 737. The current market value of each acre is expected to be in crores.
When Telangana State Develayala Parirakshana Samithi president N Srinivas filed a case in Lok Ayukta complaining about the encroachment of temple lands, it sought a report from Endowments Principal Secretary and Commissioner in June 2017.
In its report to Lok Ayukta, the Endowments Department informed that the lands mentioned in the above numbers are indeed Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple lands. However, the department also mentioned that a few persons, claiming to be farmers, had occupied some pieces of land and that the decision to allot those lands in their favour was under the government’s purview.
In 2005 too, the Executive Officer of the Endowments Department had approached the DRO in erstwhile Ranga Reddy to issue an order certifying the temple lands were spread over 1,531.26 acres, citing the 1925 and 1926 revenue records. However, the file is still pending, according to reports.
Amid this uncertainty, the encroachment of temple lands continued unabated since 1976. About 75 persons had approached the Endowments Department to issue No Objection Certificates to lands spread over 365.40 acres. Of these, the department allegedly issued NOC to 63 persons regarding 324 acres though they were not supposed to do it.
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