(courtesy of Dandavats.com)
This is the 125th year when His Divine Grace A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada appeared under a Jackfruit tree in Tollygunge, Kolkata. In 2011 we had acquired 4 very small rooms under that exact tree which were made possible due to the contributions of HH Radhanath Swami who immediately sent all the money to shift the people living in those 4 rooms. The whole property is around 4 and a half Katha but unfortunately, it’s under “Thika Tenancy”. There is a very complicated legal provision in West Bengal which is called “Thika Tenancy” where the Government is the owner of the land and all the Thika Tenants pay rents to the Government and all the “Bharatiyas” or sub-tenants pay rent to the “Thika tenant”. So legally it’s impossible to purchase the land and own it.
I had approached the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Sushri Mamata Banerjee requesting to transfer the land in ISKCON name. So she has agreed to it and for which she has to change some law (it’s already done) but she has requested that we settle with all the sub-tenants and the main tenant and then the Government will hand over the land to ISKCON.
The problem is that there are 17 sub-tenants living on that property and each of them was demanding huge money to vacate the property. Their initial total demand was around 4.3 crores Rupees to vacate the property. In the last 5 years, we worked with them in reducing the price and finally the amount is hovering around 2.65 crores. If we have this money then they will immediately vacate the whole property (4.5 katha area or about 3000 sq feet) and the Government of West Bengal will legally transfer the land in ISKCON name.