Tamil Nadu Govt To Create Database Of Temple Lands; Can We Expect Accountability Next?A devotee walks past the entrance to the Meenakshi temple in Madurai (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/GettyImages)

According to a press release, Tamil Nadu government officials will create a database featuring properties belonging to temples across the state. The Tamil Nadu government, like most other states in India, controls and manages Hindu temples in the state.

The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious And Charitable Endowments Department, the state government body responsible for temple affairs, is notorious for corruption and mismanagement of temple properties.

The department manages 4.7 lakh acres of agricultural land, 2.6 crore square feet of buildings and 29 crore square feet of urban land of temples. By any reasonable measure, the income from these properties should be in thousand of crores of rupees. The government, however, collects a mere Rs 36 crore in rent against a “demand” of mere Rs 304 crore— around 12 percent realisation.

It is too early to tell whether the database will even be completed. However, it may not be too much to expect the government to use this exercise and ensure temples get their fair share of revenue from temple properties.

You can read more about the government’s untrammeled intervention in temple affairs and its pernicious affects in this piece.

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