Kerala CM justifies allotment of land to church

October 13, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kerala CM justifies allotment of land to churchKerala, October 10, 2013: It would be unfair to say the government had decided to gift the land, he said.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has ruled out revocation of the state government decision to allot around 2.5 acres to CSI Christ Church at Palayam.

Defending the government decision, the chief minister said that the Christ Church was holding the church building and adjacent properties for at least 150 years.

It would be unfair to say the government had decided to gift the land. The same was under their possession for a long time and the decision to assign the land to the church was nothing but a formality, the CM said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the Kerala University raising claim over the property, representatives of the CSI Christ Church said neither the university nor the government has any right over the church building and surrounding properties under its possession.

“The church cemetery was established in 1814 and the present church building was built in 1854. It was the Maharaja of the erstwhile Travancore who gifted the land to the church with tax exemption. This was one reason why the church authorities did not bother very much about obtaining the assignment of the land from the government,” CSI church central Kerala diocese executive committee member Sabu C Oommen said.

He said the cemetery of the Christ Church at present has 1,600 tombs. The number of people who are members of the church is over 5,000, he said.

“The decision to give land to the church was taken after several rounds of scrutiny by various departments,” he said.

According to sources in the Church, serious efforts to get the land registered in the name of the Church began 15 years ago.

“As there was no proper follow up till recently, the procedures got delayed. A group of believers have volunteered to go to all offices concerned and got all papers ready in the last two-three years,” said a source.

– times of india

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