A temple of Lord Shiva at the official residence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and a similar religious structure at Raj Bhavan are among the 20,000-odd shrines encroaching on public land in the state, according to a list prepared by the state government as part of an affidavit to be submitted to the Supreme Court, which is hearing a related case since 2006.
As per the list on March 31, 2012, which will be updated in a month, there are around 5,314 religious encroachments in areas under the seven municipal corporations in the state while an additional 14,667 encroachments are there in areas that fall outside municipal limits but under the district collectorates, sources said.“Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s official residence, Bungalow No 26 in the ministerial enclave, has a Lord Shiva’s temple as illegal religious encroachment while many other bungalows in the enclave have different religious encroachments. Even Raj Bhavan has religious encroachment. However, the latest status is not known,” sources in the state revenue department told The Indian Express.
This list of religious encroachments is likely to be updated, with the home department writing to all district collectors and municipal corporations to immediately furnish the details of the latest status (as on June 30, 2012) on the encroachment on public land/properties by different religious bodies in the state.The fresh data is required by the chief secretary to file an affidavit in the SC in a case between the Union of India and Gujarat and others.
On December 7, 2009, the SC had passed interim orders that no unauthorised religious constructions should be carried out or permitted on public streets, parks or other public places. It had ordered the state government to formulate a comprehensive policy regarding removal/relocation/regularisation of unauthorised religious constructions.