Thanks to TDB neglect; Swami Ayyapan’s Poonkavanam encroached by Forest Department

published on November 19, 2008

TDB’s land in Forest Dept possession

Source: Express News

SABARIMALA: At a time when the Travancore Devaswom Board is at the mercy of the Forest Department to undertake basic facilities for pilgrims, a 50-cent prime land of the TDB at Pandithavalam in Sannidhanam is being unauthorisedly occupied and used for making lakhs of rupees by the forest authorities for decades.

The land, located near Sannidhanam BSNL office, is part of the 65 acres of the devaswom land.

The Forest Department is making big money by leasing out the three shops and lending out the barrack-like building for pilgrims on daily rent.

During the peak days of Mandalam and Makaravilakku , the Forest Department authorities used to make lakhs of rupees by accommodating thousands of pilgrims by erecting make-shift dwelling structures on the vacant space.

However, the most intriguing aspect is that the TDB had failed to initiate steps against the Forest Department to restore the occupied land, though the devaswom authorities are aware of the unauthorised encroachment.

It may be recalled that the TDB paid Rs 8 crore to the Forest Department for getting 12.62 hectares of land at Sabarimala and 110 hectares of land at Nilackal for providing facilities to the pilgrims.

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