Kapaleeswarar temple, Chennai - the daunting task of collecting rent from its vast city lands

Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore,Chennai, en.wikipedia.org

Above image:  Considered as one of the wealthiest temples of   Tamil Nadu, historical Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple of Chennai has extensive properties of over 600 acres around the temple and elsewhere in the prime areas. They were gifted by the Maharajahs and rich people for maintenance and conduct of regular pujas, besides taking care of the needs of the visiting pilgrims. HR&CE report says this temple owns  some 500 properties. and the annual income was supposed to be more than  Rs 8 crore from them. The collect 40% to 50% of income as many of the  lessees and renters do not pay the rent.Many pay rent far below the market value. There are as many as  471 defaulters and rent arrears stand more than Rs 1,000 crore, acceding to HR&CE.

The defaulters include the famous Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an institution founded by freedom fighter KM Munshi in 1938 with the support of Mahatma Gandhi and which was later expanded by Sri ramakrishnan. BVB  owes Rs 32 lakh to the temple, 

Popular Amrutanjan company  located near Nageswara Rao Park, Mylapore  owes a huge sum - Rs 6.45 crore to the temple. A case is pending in court on this.

the Mylapore Club, a recreation non-profit club owes  some Rs 3.57 crore back rent as of now. Quite surprising is, it is said, a  bar serving hard liquor on the premises functioning against regulations was functioning and was forced to shut down.
Only recently a big chunk of land was taken back by the temple authorities through court orders from the Popular PS High School, on the R.K. Mutt road, Mylapore. 

Those who serve temple were given a piece of land on lease in appreciation of their temple duty. they have become defaulters and these include who light lamps, grind sandalwood paste, make garlands, and clean the premises and so on. there is a scheme to build housing for such people. 

In July 2021 Sri Sekar Babu, the minister suggested  a proposal  to provide new accommodation to the temple staff, build a wedding hall and a large, multi-level car parking centre and washrooms and a space for people to connect rituals among other things.