Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: An ambitious Rs. 300-crore scheme has been taken up by the Endowments Department to construct 400 cottages, 5,000 rooms and 150 dormitories in 18 major temples in the State in two years to partially meet the accommodation needs of pilgrims.

These new buildings will provide accommodation for 30,000 more pilgrims. At present, these temples have 105 cottages, 2,242 rooms and 38 dormitories, benefiting 15,000 pilgrims.

Scheme details

Announcing the scheme at a press conference here on Wednesday, Endowments Minister J. Ratnakar Rao said the massive construction programme would be funded with surplus funds available with these temples as also through a scheme of accepting donations from the public. The donor’s name will be written on the cottage and he/she provided accommodation for 45 days in a year free of cost. The average cost of a cottage has been estimated at over Rs. 20 lakhs.

In case of Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple at Yadagirigutta, April 30 has been fixed as the last date for the donors/philanthropists to register their names to join the scheme.

A layout named “Tulasivanam” has been finalised for this temple for construction of 40 cottages, each on a 266 square yards of land, and 40 other cottages each with 12 suites, on 356 sq yards of land each.

Shortlisted temples

The rest of the 17 temples listed for the Rs. 300-crore scheme are Simhachalam, Annarvaram, Dwaraka Tirumala, Vijayawada, Srisailam, Srikalahasti, Kanipakam, Vemulawada, Bhadrachalam, Lova (Tuni), Penuganchiprolu, Mahanandi, Komaravalli, Kondagattu, Basar, Secunderabad (Ganesh temple) and Kasapuram (Anjaneya swamy temple in Ananatapur district).

I. V. Subba Rao, Principal Secretary, Revenue (Endowments) and P. Sundar Kumar, Commissioner, Endowments, who were present, announced that another scheme had been taken up to construct “Srigokulam” at 100 temples to facilitate “go-puja” and go-pradakshmina’ by pilgrims free of cost.