The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department has been taking various steps to retrieve property belonging to it and collect rental dues.
Apart from sending notices, temples have been placing boards inside the rented premises naming the major defaulters and the amounts which at times run in crores.
Three rent defaulters for properties belonging to the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore owe it over ₹2.9 crore. Similarly, one large sanitaryware outlet owes ₹1.10 crore to the Kachaleeswar Temple, ₹2.4 crore to the Kurungaleeswarar Temple in Koyambedu and a clinic has to pay up ₹2.58 crore to the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Egmore.
When the firms taking properties on rent fail to pay the amount, the temple administrations, after due notice, take over the building or land.
On Friday, officials of the Kailasanathar Temple in Padi sealed a shopping complex constructed on land belonging to the temple on CTH Road near the Korattur signal.
Sources in the temple administration said that the land, worth ₹5 crore, had been rented out to a person for constructing a house but not only did he fail to pay the monthly rent of ₹11,432 but he had also constructed a commercial complex on the property. “After we evicted the shop keepers and sealed the building constructed without our permission, they paid up dues of ₹15 lakh. A decision regarding the building and land would be taken later,” said an official.
In January, a large play ground that had been leased out to a private school in Villivakkam area was sealed by officials of the Agatheeswarar Temple on the same road. At that time the school owed ₹ 1.05 crore in rent to the temple.