More than 10 lakh devotees throng Kanaka Durga temple during Dasara every year. In addition, an additional three lakh Bhavanis visit the temple immediately after Dasara festivities. Notwithstanding this, there are no moves from Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam authorities to urge the State Government to recognise the festival as ‘State Festival.’
Consequently, the temple has been incurring an expenditure of not less than Rs. 2 crore every for Dasara arrangements. The other government departments like Roads and Buildings (R&B) and Irrigation, show least interest in providing facilities, and demand that the temple meet their expense. There is a widespread demand that the festival be declared a State festival. The demand crops up whenever Chief Minister or Endowments Minister visits the temple. But, the lacklustre approach of higher ups is watering down the demand, feel temple staff.
The temple officials point out that the government has accorded State festival status to the Sitarama Kalyanam organised at Bhadrachalam. Likewise, Samakka-Saralamma jatara and Kotappakonda tirunallu are declared State festivals. The State Government bears the expenditure involved in conducting these festivals, they say.
Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam is spending more than Rs. 2 crore on barricading, punt, tents and shamiyanas, erection of queue lines, sanitation, drinking water, and arrangements at ghats. Some of these works have to be done by R&B, irrigation, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) etc. However, the temple is taking up the works as they cite fund crunch problem. If the Dasara festivities organised here were accorded State festival status, the departments concerned would receive funds from the government.
There will be no fund crunch problem for the festivities because Government bears the cost of celebrating state festivals, say temple officials