The authorities of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam have been asked to chalk out a plan to distribute prasadam free of cost to the devotees in the days to come.
Endowments Commissioner J.S.V. Prasad, who took stock of the developmental works pertaining to the temple on Monday, asked the temple officials to explore the possibility of distributing free prasadam for extended hours.
The temple authorities are now distributing prasadam at 11 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. Mr. Prasad asked the officials to distribute free prasadam in the intervening period between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. too.
The Commissioner took note of a suggestion made by some pilgrims and ordered the officials to work on a plan for distributing the prasadam more times.
The officials will work out the exact timings for distribution of free prasadam.
Mr. Prasad earlier inspected the construction site of Maha Mandapam and Raja Gopuram and the retaining wall which developed some cracks recently.
A delegation led by TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao met Endowments Commissioner J.S.V. Prasad and demanded that immediate action be taken against those responsible for “irregularities” in the construction of retaining wall of Durga ghat at Ashoka pillar centre.
The TDP leaders sought urgent measures to ensure that the 40-meter high retaining wall was strengthened keeping in view the safety and security of the pilgrims visiting the Sri Durga Malleswara Swamivarla Devasthanam. The TDP delegation also raised several issues like “irregularities” in the making of prasadam.
In a memorandum submitted to the Commissioner, Mr. Rao alleged that works were executed without following the designs given by the experts.
While a Chennai-based engineer gave one design for the wall, those at the helm of affairs in the temple resorted to some deviations.
There was also an “arbitrary” increase in the estimated cost of works.
The TDP leaders said there were many apprehensions among the people about the safety of the huge retaining wall that was constructed to check landslides on the ghat road and to also create some extra space for the pilgrim flow.
Though the teams of government engineers refused to describe the cracks as serious ones, there was a need for taking all safety measures and extra caution as it involved the security of thousands of pilgrims.
Mr. Rao was also said to have asked the Commissioner to bring in accountability and transparency in the laddu-making section of the temple so that there would be no room for frequent problems to pilgrims either in the quality or quantity of laddus.