AP Govt to set up five ''Agama Patasalas''

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Hyderabad, Dec 13 (UNI) Five new ''Patashalas'' will be set up in different parts of Andhra Pradesh soon to provide training in vedas and ''Agamasastras'', State Endowments Minister J Ratnankar Rao said today.

He told reporters here that this was in addition to the ten such schools attached to noted Saivite and Vaishnava temples, providing training to over 500 students on temple rituals, vedas and ''agamasastras''. The students on attainment of 12 years of age would be provided training for six years, he added.

The State government also planned to set up a 'Dharmika Parishad' and ''Agama Sashtra Parishad'' to oversee the functioning of temples in the state.

Informing that as many as 27,000 acres of endowment lands were encroached upon in different places, he said efforts were on to free the lands. Wherever housing colonies were constructed on temple lands, such houses would be regularised after assessing the market value for the land.

An Institute for temple management would be started to provide training to Executive Officers in managing the temples, Principal Secretary (Revenue) I V Subba Rao said.

Chief Minsiter Y S Rajasekhara Reddy would inaugurate a Conference to discuss welfare measures for priests and other temple employees on December 15, Endowments Commissioner P Sundarakumar said.

UNI

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