TDB to deposit 500 kg of gold in RBI for an annual interest of ₹6 crore

The TDB will enlist the help of the RBI’s “mining centre” in Haryana to purify the gold before they are smelted into biscuit form.

Published - October 19, 2023 09:08 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) will deposit 500 kg of gold in its possession in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a five-year term.

TDB president K. Ananthagopan said the Board will earn an annual interest of ₹6 crore. Devotees frequenting TDB-owned temples in the State offer much of the gold as ornaments.

The TDB will enlist the help of the RBI’s “mining centre” in Haryana to purify the gold before they are smelted into biscuit form. The State Bank of India (Mumbai) will assist in the financial aspect of the transaction.

The TDB will form a separate inventory of antique gold ornaments, artefacts and utensils imperative for temple rituals and maintain their uniqueness and sanctity.

Strongrooms in various temples stored much of the gold. A team comprising the TDB Commissioner, Superintendent of police, TDB Vigilance, and Deputy Director of Audit will supervise the cataloguing and sorting of the gold in the temple’s possession.

Fast-tag system

The TDB has implemented a fast-tag system for collecting parking fees at Sabarimala. The TDB has signed an MOU with the ICICI Bank to collect the payment. The ICICI will charge 0.8% of the total amount collected, while 1.5% of the levy will go to the Fast Tag authority. The system will go online on November 10.

The TDB has adopted the Tirupathi model queue system for crowd control at the hill shrine. Metal detectors, scanners and screens will help augment security during the pilgrimage season.

The TDB will not use cardamom in making the Aravana Payasam, a much sought-after sacrament, this pilgrim season after some agencies raised red flags about the use of harmful pesticides.

He said the TDB faced the predicament of safely disposing of six lakh ‘aravana payasam’ tins, a leftover from the last pilgrimage season.

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