TIRUMALA: Sending a clear signal that it would not spare any employee who resort to irregularities in maintaining the treasury of gold and silver offerings made by devotees to the Lord Venkateswara, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has been recovering from the salary of an official of the rank of Assistant EO, the amount commensurate to the value of missing gold and silver ornaments of the Lord.
Though the TTD has been recovering the value of the missing ornaments for the past eight months, the issue came to light on Tuesday. Terming the action against the AEO a ‘harsh’ one to send a strong signal that offerings to Lord are safe, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal said the verification process is still pending and further action will be taken once it is completed.
The shortfall in the treasury account came to light when the AEO in question, M Srinivasulu, handed over the charge to his successor Prabhakar Reddy on October 10, 2017. During the process of change of guard, it was noticed that a silver crown weighing more than five kilos, two gold rings, two necklaces and some silver-coated coins all worth `7,36,376 lakh were found ‘missing’ from the treasury.
As the AEO was the custodian, the TTD initiated the process of recovering the loss from his salary for the past eight months after completing all the due formalities, the EO said. He was quick to add that there were some excess ornaments including 11,778 kilos of silver ornaments, gold, pearls and others when Srinivasulu was relieved of his treasury post.
Asked as to why criminal or disciplinary action was not initiated against the AEO, Singhal said the official had requested for a re-verification of the stock. “The re-verification will be done in September. We are hopeful that facts will come to light then. Depending on the outcome of the verification, we will initiate disciplinary action. Similarly, the stock that is in excess will be deposited with the treasury,’’ the EO added.