The Odisha government has identified over 1800 acres of land belong to Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri for sale through auction process.
The objective to sell the temple land is to enhance the corpus fund of Jagannath Temple. For selling of land, the chief secretary has asked the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to make necessary changes in the existing law of 2003, official sources said.
With nearly 57,000 acres of land spread over 23 districts of the State and five states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Lord Jagannath is possibly the biggest landlord among the presiding deities in the country.
“There are around 1800 acres of temple land lying in Bhubaneswar, Khurda and Jatni areas. The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has been asked to sale 131 acres of land in the first phase to generate revenue for the temple,” said SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra.
The BDA has been asked to sell the land since it has expertise in land transactions. “The BDA will take five per cent of the land cost,” he added.
The temple administration has targeted to generate revenues worth Rs 2,000 crore within one year by selling of temple land.
The meeting decided to identify the temple land located in Khurda, Jatni and Bhubaneswar tehsils of Khurda district and due process of law will be adopted to evict the encroachers.
After eviction, Bhubaneswar Development Authority and IDCO will take joint action for construction of boundary walls to protect the temple land from further encroachment.
As per the draft uniform policy for sale of temple land, district land sub-committee will be formed for determination of price for different kisam of temple land in respective districts. The land will be auctioned and proceeds from such auction will be kept in a fixed deposit.
Earlier, the State Government had planned to raise Rs 1,000 crore by selling land belonging to Lord Jagannath, which is lying in Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) limits.
An MoU was signed between the BDA and the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on February 27, 2014. As per the plan, in the first phase, 131 acres of land would be sold.