Andhra Pradesh

TTD launches scheme to provide one free ‘laddu’ for every devotee

The implementation of the new scheme will no longer burden the TTD.

The implementation of the new scheme will no longer burden the TTD.  

Additional ‘laddus’ may be purchased at ₹50 each without any limit

It’s now official. Every devotee visiting the temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala henceforth will be provided with one free ‘laddu’ by the TTD.

The TTD, which for quite some long time was brooding over the proposal, on Monday formally launched the ambitious scheme much to the delight of the devout spread across the globe.

The scheme which hitherto was strictly confined only to those pilgrims reaching the town (numbering around 20,000 every day) on foot hereafter will be extended to every devotee having the ‘darshan’ of the presiding deity.

According to rough statistics, the hill temple experiences around 80,000 footfalls on an average every day while the manufacturing cost of each ‘laddu’ is put at about ₹39. In a nutshell, the TTD will be providing 80,000 laddus on an average every day to the devotees free of cost.

While grounding the proposal, the TTD was also cautious to lift the ration on the purchase of additional ‘laddus’ which was restricted to just four ‘laddus’ to each pilgrim. Pilgrims desirous of having additional ‘laddus’ were either forced to procure them at exorbitant rates in the black market or run after a few designated TTD officials who were hardly spotted.

Under the new proposal, the TTD has also categorically announced that the devotees are free to purchase any number of ‘laddus’ of their choice at the existing selling price of ₹50 each without any recommendation or approaching the touts.

Subsidies cancelled

With this, all the existing subsidies being provided on the ‘laddus’ to different sections of pilgrims also stand nullified at one go. Earlier, the pilgrims opting ‘Dharma Darshanam’ were provided with four laddus at ₹70 (two ‘laddus’ at ₹25 each and two ‘laddus’ at a much subsidised price of ₹10 each in contrast to five ‘laddus’ to those reaching on foot for the same price.

The interesting factor is that the implementation of the new scheme will no longer burden the coffers of the TTD even by a single pie as the income earned by way of marketing the ‘laddus’ at a uniform selling price of ₹50 each will bail it out from the huge losses it has been suffering since a couple of years owing to the subsidies.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:52:38 AM |

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