Virtually giving clean chit to the functioning of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board and asserting that the Government would not tolerate any wrong-doings in the management of Lord Venkateswara’s assets, Endowment Minister Gade Venkata Reddy turned down the suggestion for reconstitution of the Board.
Replying to a short discussion on facilities to pilgrims and functioning of TTD in the Legislative Council on Friday, the Minister also said Government accorded top priority for amenities for pilgrims and specific complaints about ‘black-marketing’ of ‘Seva’ tickets and accommodation by brokers should be brought to Government’s notice.
Failing to elicit an assurance to check ‘widely prevalent corruption by brokers’ at Tirumala for the benefit of common pilgrims, Telugu Desam members led by Leader of Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao staged a walk-out. .
Earlier, the Minister reiterated that donations and valuable gifts given to Lord Venkateswara by devotees were registered and well preserved and a list of all the jewellery and their details would be submitted to High Court as directed by it. The government would also provide the details of properties of all 36,000 temples in the State, including gold, silver and lands in a website by October 2.
Agreeing there were minor differences between Board members, Mr. Venkat Reddy said what was important was the Board acted promptly against those who misused Lord’s jewellery and recovered them. He said the TTD was doing everything for Hindu Dharma propagation through various means including Bhakti channel. TTD would take its own decisions regarding expenditure on various heads but the Government could review it.
The Minister assured that security for the jewellery would be further stepped up. A tribunal had been set up at State level to free 35,000 acres of endowments lands under encroachment. He also said ‘Archaka welfare fund’ would be created to help archakas.