Land Lease to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is not residential or commercial lease but is for Hindu Temple
Administrative Council of UT of J&K had on 26-03-2021 decided ( Decision No 44/06/2021) to give on lease State land measuring 497 Kanal 17 Marla ( approximately 62 Acres / 25 Hectares / 0,25 sq.km) to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams-TTD (Andra Pradesh) and accordingly the G.O.No. 32-JK (Rev) -2021 of 31-03-2021 was issued by Shaleen Kabra Principal Secretary Revenue for grant of State land of said size in Village Majeen under Khasra No. 243 min Tehsil Jammu on 40 year lease basis (from the date of taking over possession) on payment of nominal ground rent of Rs.10 only /kanal/annum and without charge of any premium for building up Temple and its allied infrastructures , Pilgrim amenities Complex, Vedapatasala, Spiritual/ Meditation Centre, Office , Residential quarters, Parkings etc. TTD manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Ofcourse the allotment / lease shall be governed by J&K Land Grants Act 1960 and Rules made there under.Accordingly Bhoomi Pujan and foundation stone laying ceremony for the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple (Srivari Temple ) was performed at Village Majeen ( Sidhra) on this 13th June with great religious fervourby Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha who also unveiled a plaque as a mark of the laying of foundation. Sacred kalasamshad been brought to the Yagashala by TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy and EO Dr KS Jawahar Reddy and starting with Ganapathi Puja, the Pundits performed Viswaksena Puja, Punyahavachanam, Agnipratistha, Vastu Homam, and Abhishekam which was followed by Silanyasa Puja, Chaturveda Parayanam, Navagraha Stotra Parayanam, Maha Vishnu Puja and then the stone was consecrated in the ground. The TTD Board has hence taken possession and taken up the construction of the Srivari temple in terms of their resolve to construct Srivari temples across the country for protection of Hindu Sanatana Dharma. As per TTD Chairman Y.V Subba Reddy the Temple will be constructed with stone architecture of South India and the works worth Rs.33.22 crores have been sanctioned out of which works worth Rs. 27.72 Cr. including temple, sub-temples, Vahana Mandapam, Electricity, water supply etc will be phase-I and phase-II shall be, Veda Pathashala, Hostel and Medical buildings, Kalyana mandapam etc worth Rs. 5.50 Cr. It has been surely a very pious and hilarious occasion for the people of J&K keeping in view that TTD Board is well known for holistically developing even areas around a place for temple acquired by it by serving in the sectors of health, education and employment as well . Jammu Region of UT of J&K is a land of temples & pilgrimages and it is hoped that the upcoming Srivari Temple will further boost pilgrim tourism and will also motivate the Local Government to exploit the already existing huge pilgrim tourism and commercial tourism potential in the region beyond Raghunathji Temple, SMVD Shrine.Although the gesture of the UT Government is appreciable but keeping in view that the allotment of the land has been made for purely religious purposes no scope should be kept for any controversies / disputes at any moment of time , may be even in late future. The allotment order with only 40 yrs lease needs a review since it is for a Hindu temple. The Clause 6of J&K Land Grants Act 1960 reads< Government to have a right of re-entry on expiry of lease.- On the expiry of the period of lease granted under this Act] ….. Government shall have the right of re-entry on the land leased and the lessee shall be liable to be evicted there from, and the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Pubic Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1959, shall apply in relation to his eviction>.It cannot be ruled out that ultimate investments would be much more than first estimates as disclosed and also mentioned in the allotment order for the Temple and its allied infrastructures (Pilgrim amenities Complex, Vedapatasala, Spiritual/ Meditation Centre, Office, Residential quarters, Parkings etc and the health care /other public welfare projects that have been talked about). In the instant case on the leased land there shall be still standing a Hindu Temple complex after 40 years. It has to be kept in sight that some people have gone to the extent of seeing the openings of new vistas for “Jammu region” ( Hindu in particular) in the said temple project of TTD.The lease is for 40 years from date of possession ( let us take it even as 13-06-2021 date of Bhoomi Pujan). Imagine in case after 40 years the democratic government of that day decides not to extend the lease further even on cost basis, will that not create serious implications and conflicts?.TTD would have invested a few hundred crores by then and more over there would be a Hindu Temple there. Can anyone just imagine what would be implications and feared dangers to peace of the day in case the government goes for eviction.? So, the UT Administrative Council should have taken a note of this aspect on 26-03-2021 itself as regards the lease period. Any how it should be done now.It is good that land has been given free and at a very very token rent but If not freehold rights there could be lease of 99 years which would not have been something very much out of rules/ conventions since even in the Upper Roop Nagar Colony/ Trikuta Nagar of JDA to start with some plots were allotted on 99 years residential lease on premium and lease rent of Rs.3/sq ft / annum. Ofcourse when Gandhi Nagar/Shastri Nagar Colonies were created there were no institutions like JDA and JK Housing Board and plots were given to private people on ownership basis.More so now there are no limitations of the condition of one being a permanent resident of J&K. So, when the LG Administration has already taken a decision of giving land free of premium for a religious institution it should not be a difficult task of unmanageable limitations for LG Manoj Sinha to order modify the lease order so as to increase the period of lease from 40 years to at least 99 years.(Daya Sagar-Sr Journalist, Analyst J&K affairs, Social Activist [email protected]).
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