The illegal construction has not stopped on a temple property in Dhillion colony. The land, measuring over one acre, is attached with Gujarati Shiv Temple and is worth Rs 10 crore.
Under existing rules, the donated property of a temple can be used for agriculture or religious purposes but can’t be used for commercial activity, as it is happening in the exiting case, where allegedly a showroom is to come up.
The matter came to the fore when RTI activist Mohinder Kumar complained about it. Half of the land is already encroached with concrete structure while construction is in progress in the rest of the property. He alleged that the pressure from the influential people led authorities to remain silent even as it is an open case of encroachment of temple property.
Deputy Commissioner Ramvir Singh, who is the custodian of temple properties being ex-offico chairman of Dharam Arth board, ordered an inquiry when HT reported the matter on June 16.
Despite his intervention, the fear of law is missing on ground. DC said he would ensure report from the revenue department at the earliest and ensure adequate action against those involved in encroaching.
MC too fails to take any action
Municipal Corporation is also silent on the illegal construction. In July, it served notice to the temple authorities to immediately stop the construction since there was no building plan approved for the said property. However, it did not take any follow up action to stop the illegal construction.
The sources said the involvement of temple authorities could not be ruled out in the encroachment.
It is not a lone case of donated religious land being encroached in the city.
There are approximately 100 religious places in Patiala which were gifted land by erstwhile city rulers.
The aim was to strengthen the religious institutions as they could earn some income by giving land on lease for agriculture purpose and use that money for the welfare purpose.
But over the years, several of the temple or religious dera’s properties have been encroached even as Dharam Arth board was set up to take care of these properties
Last year in April, Punjab and Haryana High court directed Patiala DC to remove all the encroachments on donated lands to religious deras and temples in Patiala but the Supreme Court stayed the high court orders after affected parties filed writ petition there. Final orders of the court is still awaited.