The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam has made a decision to auction its 50 immovable properties that are located at different locations across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Rishikesh. A senior functionary of the TTD trust confirmed the news on Sunday.
YV Subba Reddy, the Chairman of the TTD Board that governs the popular shrine of Lord Venkateshwara that is on the famous hill of Tirumala, said that the properties that are set to be auctioned include housing plots and houses between 1 cent and 5 cents and farming lands between 10 cents and one acre.
These are some of the properties that have been donated to the shrine by the devotees several decades ago which have now become non-maintainable and also non-revenue generating. They have become very petty and unviable for the trust, he said.
49 of those properties are in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and one land in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The expected revenue from the auction is close to Rs. 24 crore. The Chairman also added that there has been propaganda against the Board’s move to auction the properties which are driven by the vested interests of the media and certain political parties in Andhra Pradesh.
He also mentioned that this is not a new thing for the trust as many regimes in the past have taken steps to auction tiny properties. He also appealed to the devotees of the shrine to not pay to heed the false propaganda peddled by vested interests in order to create confusion and play with the sentiments.
TTD unable to pay salaries
The trust was recently in the news when it came out saying that it suffered financially during the COVID-19 lockdown. As a result, the trust has run out of cash to pay salaries and to pay daily expenses. A report in the Times of India says that the Temple has suffered a loss of income up to Rs. 400 crore even as it spent Rs. 300 crore towards paying salaries and other expenses.
The temple has now been closed for over 50 days. As per the public officials, it is unclear when the temple may open for devotees again. Given the situation in the state and the crowd the shrine attracts, it is unlikely that the temple may open soon.