Facing a backlash for their recent decision to auction some properties in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the world's richest Hindu temple, has decided to put the move on hold.
The TTD held a board meeting on Thursday and decided that hereafter, none of the immovable properties donated by the devotees to the Sri Venkateswara temple will be disposed of, TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy said.
The decision came after an uproar over its recent plan to auction 23 properties in four districts of Tamil Nadu and another 25 assets elsewhere in Andhra Pradesh and one property in Rishikesh.
TTD said that these properties are tiny house plots between 1 cent and 5 cent, as well as farmlands between 10 cents and below one acre. These are 'non-maintainable and non-revenue generating propertiesâ€™, it had said.
After a five-hour video conference by the TTD Trust Board, Subba Reddy told mediapersons that the board has also decided to set up a committee soon comprising officials, intellectuals, heads of Hindu religious institutions and devotees to study how to utilise such unviable and encroached properties so as to take appropriate action without hurting the sentiments of the devotees.
The TTD chairman said that to put an end to the uproar created by a section of media and some vested interests on social media over the sale of unviable, immovable assets which impacted the sentiments of the devotees, the Andhra Pradesh government had issued an order banning the sale of such assets.
"The current TTD board has therefore rescinded its decision on the immovable properties, though they were processed by the previous board of TTD," Subba Reddy said.
Subba Reddy added that TTD was fully geared to commence 'darshan' as soon as it gets permission from the government. The doors of the temple have been closed since March, owing to the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
( With IANS inputs )