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20,000 acres of Temple land encroached in Telangana, State Government decides to act tough

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The Telangana government has decided to take action against illegal occupants of large tracts of temple lands. Telangana Endowments Minister, A Indra Karan Reddy, has now directed the officials to act against encroachers and evict them from the state lands.

According to the New Indian Express, nearly 20,124.08 acres of endowments lands are under encroachment in the State. The encroachments have happened as the lessees are taking the temple lands at throwaway prices and in turn, they had given them on sub-lease at market prices, which has also resulted in huge revenue loss to the Endowments department.

“Act tough on encroachers. Do not spare the encroachers, however, influential they may be,” Endowments Minister A Indra Karan Reddy told the officials on Monday.

The minister has directed the officials to deal sternly with those who gave the endowment lands on sub-lease. The officials are now ascertaining the actual rental value of their lands and reviewing the prices to earn better revenue.

The officials have also planned to erect fencing around the temple lands and putting up notice boards stating that those lands belonged to the Endowments Department. Reportedly, the endowments lands worth Rs 3 crore was leased out to private persons some 50 years.

The Telangana endowment department has further decided to evict the lessee and take back the land to its control. However, the lessee had approached the court, which has caused delays as the department could not take the encroached land back.

According to the latest information available with the Endowments Department, the Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions in the State possess landed property to an extent of 87,235.39 acres. These lands are located in urban and rural areas, which included forest lands too. The lands under utilisation or in the possession of Archakas are 2,458.05 acres.

In Telangana alone, the total lands under the lease are 21,238.26 acres. The extent of lands under encroachments are 20,124.08 acres. Out of this, the lands covered under the Land Acquisition Act are just 2,122.08 acres while other types of lands include some 19,692.37 acres.

Source: OpIndia

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