A video of destructing a Siva temple in Sriperumbudur with a poclain machine has gone viral with condemnation on social media.
Sri Kanaka Kaleeswarar temple was built on behalf of Tapovanam Trust in Kilai village, Sriperumbudur taluk, Kanchipuram district. The expansion of temple including the construction of shrines and almshouses have been done with donations from devotees to the private trust.
The Revenue Department has informed that the temple was built on the outlying land adjoining Kalangal lake. After which the temple, the almshouses and a private canteen were demolished.
When we reached Krishnamurthy, Director of Thirugnana Sambandhar Tapovanam Trust, “15 cents Patta land was bought in 2004 and the temple was built in 2014. The land nearby streams outlying land which is 300 feet away from the temple and hence there is no obstruction for the lake water to travel. The almshouses, marriage hall were built during the temple expansion works.
DRO came by 3 PM on Thursday and informed us about removing the occupied area. But no official written notice was provided. When we went to the nearby village to inform this to the district Collector who came there, meanwhile, the entire temple was demolished with 3 poclain machines.
A private canteen built in the outlying land in the same area by ADMK members are earning 4-5 lakhs per month, is also removed. There is no objection to removing the buildings in the encroached land, but they have destroyed the temple which was in Patta land. Marriage hall, playing area for children and trees were planted in outlying land during temple expansion work for the usage of the public. But the temple was built in Patta land which the officials did not accept even after showing them the documents”, said.
When we reached Paneer Selvam, Revenue Officer, Kanchipuram District, “How can we demolish anything that is in Patta land? The temple and 2 more buildings were built in the outlying land where the water from Sriperumbudur lake travels. They complain that we did not give prior information. But we informed them a month earlier which was not considered.
Occupancies in all lakes are being surveyed and action is being taken. We have measured the land by ourselves before taking an action. Apart from the said temple, a building of a lawyer and another building of a person from a political party were also removed. But this is being spread linking the religion”, said.
The trust member has informed us that the Sriperumbudur Siva temple was built in Patta land whereas the marriage hall and other buildings constructed during the temple expansion works were in outlying land. But the Revenue Officer has informed us that all the buildings including the temple were built in outlying land.
Every time the judges issue orders to remove the occupied areas in the water bodies in Tamil Nadu, and it becomes a matter of talk every time.
The Chennai High Court in September 2021 has ordered, “All occupancies in the water bodies should be removed. 950 waterbodies are missing in Chennai alone and are now occupied by encroachers. Hence, Tamil Nadu government should remove the encroachment buildings in water bodies and forest area”.
The High Court has ordered in 2018 to demolish the Kottai Palayathamman temple built in the land of the Public Works Department opposite to Chennai Secretariat and Reserve Bank.
During the ADMK regime last year, a video of demolishing Sivalinga from Aadhimariamman temple that occupied 14000 square feet of Samudra lake in Pulianthope, Tanjavur, and Ramamurthy Swamigal samadhi by the Public Works Department, also has gone viral on social media.