Nearly 11 tonnes of rice, meant to be used in the preparation of Prasadams to be offered as Naivedyam to Lord Venkateswara, just disappeared last year.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams officials came to know about the misappropriation by the staff of the Ugranam (kitchen store) and are making the storekeeper pay for the loss caused to the TTD. The missing of rice came to light in an inquiry conducted by the vigilance department of the TTD.
Officials said that the rice did not reach the designated location, Ugranam, but reached some other place. “The rice might have been reached some hotels on the hill or at Tirupati,’’ sources said.
It was the engineering wing of the TTD which conducts physical verification of the stock in its godowns periodically and found out that irregularities in maintenance of Ugranam. They took up the matter with the vigilance wing which conducted a probe.
Ugranam is the only construction on the sacred Four Mada Streets around the temple. From the store, all the necessary ingredients of prasadams would be supplied on conveyor belts to the temple kitchen where naivedyam and prasadam are made.
Offerings like Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Jaggery Pongal, Pulihora, Mulahora and Payasam are cooked inside the temple kitchen on firewood.
“The Ugranam staff have not maintained proper records. They do not have the intake and dispatch registers. We find that the stock has not reached the Ugranam,’’ a vigilance officer said. Once the stock reaches the Ugranam, there is no scope for any material to be shipped out illegally because of the constant vigil maintained by the vigilance wing, sources said.
In the report, the store keeper, who was on duty at the time of the irregularity, was identified. He was transferred from the Ugranam to another wing and also asked to pay Rs 2.34 lakh to the TTD towards the loss incurred by the board. “He had to pay the money in instalments from this financial year,’’ said an officer of the accounts department.
Varieties of Rice Prasadam Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Jaggery Pongal, Pulihora, Mulahora, Payasam