Special Correspondent

TTD netting around Rs. 80 cr. annually while even small temples earn more from the sale of hair

Given the demand, hair sale should fetch at least Rs.400 to Rs.500 cr. annually

Operation of ‘syndicates’ suspected and TTD advised to tap markets through global tenders

TIRUPATI: AP Legislative Committee on Public Undertakings headed by the Srisailam MLA Yerasu Pratap Reddy (Congress) has made a critical study of matters relating to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and made certain recommendations of far-reaching implications.

Review meet

Sources said that the 15-member committee which held a review meeting on Wednesday with the TTD top-brass led by its Executive Officer I.Y.R.Krishna Rao, has reportedly expressed its surprise over the low returns to the TTD coffers from the sale of the huge stocks of human hair offered by thousands of devotees, daily at the TTD tonsuring centre at Tirumala.

The panel members had reportedly felt that the sale/auction of the human hair, described as the ‘black gold’ in the TTD circles should fetch it at least Rs.400 to Rs.500 cr. per annum, given the demand for the same in the domestic and the international market and considering the large number of pilgrims who tonsure their heads almost round-the-clock in the TTD Kalyanakatta.

Dismay

It is said that the Committee expressed its dismay over the TTD netting only around Rs. 80 cr. per annum from the sale of the black-gold, when even relatively small temples were earning impressive revenue from the source.

It was in this context that the panel was said to have suspected the operation of ‘syndicates’ and advised the TTD to tap international market through global tenders.

It is learnt that the Committee also advised the TTD to dispose of the stone-studded gold ornaments without letting them accumulate.

Ornaments

The panel indicated that it would have an exclusive sitting soon with the TTD authorities to discuss this and also to verify the huge stocks of ornaments that are used to decorate the Tirumala temple deities.

Y.Pratap Reddy who addressed a press conference later said the panel asked the TTD to increase its wind power generation at Tirumala from the present 5 mw to 6 mw as it cost the TTD barely Rs.1.99 per unit against Rs.4.50 per unit charged for conventional power.

It also advised TTD to take up internal power audit and take power conservation measures at Tirumala to check wastage.

Scholarship

The panel was also said to have made no secret of its reservations over the working of the Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel right from its inception and wanted the TTD to streamline its operations. It also advised the TTD to extend its Rs.300 each scholarship to atleast 4,000 students instead of the present 1,000 irrespective of the marks scored.

Barrytes mines

The panel which also reviewed the working the Andhra Pradesh State Mineral Development Corporation has suggested to it to go in for global tenders to dispose of/lease out its barrytes mines at Mangampet in Kadapa district so that it fetched more to the State exchequer.