Devaswom Reluctant to Support Devotees to regain Encroached Temple Properties

published on April 19, 2008


Encroachers thrive, but Cochin Devaswom Board unmoved
Source:www.newindpress.com




TRIPUNITHARA: THE Cochin Devaswom Board,
the custodian of nearly a thousand temples, is least bothered about the
assets owned by the temples.

As the mystery surrounding the
missing gold makutam from Sree Poornathrayeesa temple deepens,
concerned special officers like the Pandam Pathram Special Officer who
is responsible for the ornaments and utensils of the temple, are still
clueless about the stock of gold and silver at various temples.

The
concerned officer came to know about the old makutam weighing about 500
grams of gold when the devotees asked for stocktaking of ornaments
inside the strong room.

Along with movable properties, immovable
properties like land and buildings have now started to disappear from
the stock registers.

Several acres of land owned by various
temples under the Board remain abandoned at various places in and
around the city which include North Fort Gate in Tripunithura and
Bypass Junction in Vyttila. The land in other prime locations remains
exposed to encroachments.

On Tuesday when a team headed by the
tahasildar tried to reassess the 1.89 acres of land owned by the Maradu
Ayini Siva temple a clash ensued between the encroachers and the temple
advisory committee members.

In several cases, temple committees
played a major role in recovering the temple land from private parties
and government departments.

Nearly an acre of land owned by the
Poornathrayeesa temple was recovered from the illegal custody of the
PWD after the timely intervention of the Sree Poornathrayeesa Seva
Sangham.

The `oottupura’ owned by the Kannankulangara Siva
temple was recovered from the illegal custody of the Khadi Board by
Kannankulangara Thiruvathira Committee. Ernakulam Siva Kshethra Kshema
Samithi was able to recover the prime land situated next to the temple
where it started a traditional Kshethra Kala Peedham.

Though
most of the temple committees are ready to support the Devaswam Board
in recovering the land owned by several temples, the Board is reluctant
to act.
Though the High Court has appointed an ombudsman for a detailed
study of corruption and irregularities in the Board, the ombudsman’s
duty is limited to studying the matter and submitting a report. Lack of
execution power has virtually made the ombudsman a helpless witness to
the irregularities.

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