The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on Friday announced that it would reduce budget allocation for the construction of the Lord Venkateswara temple in Amaravati capital region from Rs 150 crore to Rs 36 crore.
Speaking to reporters in Vijayawada, the TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy said the budget cuts were being made to rein in additional and unnecessary financial burden on the TTD. Under the previous TDP governmentâ€™s plan, the Lord Venkateshwara temple was to have a park, marriage halls and a few other amenities which the present government considers as excesses. The work for the project has already begun.
"After the state government's directive, the then trust board appointed by the previous TDP government also gave a go-ahead to the project and had earmarked a sum of Rs 150 crore for the construction of Sri Venkateswara Divyakshetram at Venkatapalem village in Amaravati. Immediately, tenders were called for and works related to the construction of the temple had also commenced," said Subba Reddy who added that the present board felt certain additions made to the project escalated the project cost.
"However, we strongly feel that though the construction of a new temple by the TTD in the capital region is justified, the previous trust board had included the construction of parks and Kalyana mandapams too which had escalated the project cost considerably, posing an additional and unnecessary financial burden on the TTD. Hence, we have decided to review the budgetary allocation made to Sri Venkateswara Divya Kshetram Project at Amaravati and the exercise will be taken up immediately after a new trust board is formed and after duly consulting the chief minister as well on the matter," said Subba Reddy, reported ToI.
The chairman pointed at how the TTD had recently spent Rs 30 crore to build a Lord Venvethwara temple at Jubliee hills in Hyderabad.
"The temple construction will not stop but will go on and it will come up in the same site allocated by the previous state government to TTD. We welcome former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's decision to construct a temple in the capital region, but we are against overspending which is exactly what we are trying to curtail. There are hardly any people here in the capital region. We are not sure whether people will come or not and when this is the case why should we go ahead to construct parks or Kalyana mandapams," wondered the TTD chairman who also reiterated that the core responsibility of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams was to take Lord Venkateswara closer to the devotees by constructing temples across the country.
Subba Reddy told reporters that promoting tourism was not the responsibility of the TTD but the state government. "Spending TTD funds for promoting tourism is also not correct and this is one of the major blunders committed by the previous TDP government," said Subba Reddy.