Over 6000 acres of urban land belonging to the "gods" are being put up for auction by the Endowment Department. This decision was taken after the department realized that land sharks had no fear of the gods and were grabbing even "divine" property. After the Endowments Department expressed its inability to protect the land, the government gave the green signal for the auction. In Hyderabad district alone, temples under the Endowment Department own 4,559 acres of land. Similarly, Shri Narsimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam in Visakhapatnam has 400 acres in urban areas while Hathiram Mattam at Tirumala has about 100 acres. "It has become increasingly difficult to protect prime land in urban areas from land sharks," said.
A.B. Krishna Reddy Commissioner of the Endowment Department said, ‘We approached the Government and it agreed to disposal of such land in auction.’ Mr.Krishna Reddy added that the department expected substantial revenue from the sale of lands. ‘The amount will certainly be huge,’ he said. In places such as Hyderabad Land prices are very high. For the present, the Endowments Department is planning to auction the urban lands. The Endowments Department owns 3,76,376 acres of land in the state out of which 94,136 acres are wetlands and 2,248,136.06 is dry land. The department gets an annual income of Rs.62.43 Crores through lease of 1,62,829 acres. About 6,124 acres of Endowment land is caught in legal wrangles. "We will also auction 22 acres of prime land belonging to Kashi Viswesh Swamy temple in Prakasham district," said Mr. Krishna Reddy.
Source - Deccan Chronicle (7 April)