The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams will do away with the system of issuing one free laddu and an additional laddu at Rs. 5 to devotees taking the dharma darshan queue at the Venkateswara temple here.
Instead, two laddus would be given to every such devotee at a subsidised cost of Rs.10 each, the TTD board decided on Saturday. The new system will be implemented from January 1, 2010.
However, the price of laddus under the discretionary quota will remain unchanged at Rs. 25 each.
The board of trustees, which met here with TTD chairman D.K. Adikesavulu in the chair, discussed the financial implications of the free laddu system and black marketing of the much sought-after prasadam, which of late has become rampant. The board decided to do away with the system in the interests of the devotees and the institution.
According to temple sources, the management is incurring a loss of over Rs. 10 lakh every day in the implementation of the free laddu system. This apart, the provision of laddu at Rs. 5 to every devotee in the free darshan lines proves a headache to the management with an unprecedented spurt in black marketing, which they believe, is a result of the cancellation of AAD (Archana Ananthara Darshan) and cellar darshan tickets.
It was also decided to install 20 doorframe metal detectors at all vital points as a precautionary measure.
The board appealed to agitating employees to immediately resume duty and help the management in meeting the requirements of the devotees who will throng the temple on Vaikunta Ekadasi day on December 28.
The Chairman released the TTD’s annual diary priced at Rs.100 and the book Na Swamy-Tirumala Yatra authored by poet, the late Sakarambadi Sundaracharyulu.