VIJAYAWADA: Trust board committee of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanams (SDMSD) held a meeting in which it ratified 43 proposals, including development works under integrated development of temple, on Monday. The committee, headed by chairperson Paila Sominaidu, stated the temple’s engineering department prepared the master plan. It is awaiting Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s approval.
Addressing mediapersons, Sominaidu said the development works, including works at Nitya Annadanam building, Prasadam kitchen, tonsuring hall among others, will commence before Dasara. Stating that darshan timings have been revised, he explained that rooms and guest houses are being renovated around the premises to provide amenities for the devotees visiting the temple from various places.
“Following the directions of Endowments Commissioner, the engineering department has prepared a DPR of the works, which will be completed with the funds sanctioned by the Chief Minister during his visit to the temple during Dasara last year. The authorities have proposed expansion and other works to provide better amenities to the devotees,” Sominaidu said.
He said that prices of temple-operated guest rooms have been slashed by 30 per cent to increase the occupancy ratio. “While the rent for AC rooms per day has been reduced from Rs 1,200 to Rs 900, the rent of non-AC rooms stands at Rs 600 per day,” Sominaidu explained, adding that legal opinion was sought on reappointing the staff suspended after they found common irregularities during the ACB raids. Temple EO D Bramarambha said they have noticed that the temple incurred a revenue loss of 80 per cent due to curfew restrictions.
“We are finding it tough to disburse salaries of the temple staff. Darshan timings have been changed in line with relaxation in curfew from 6 am to 6 pm from Monday. The new darshan timings will be from 6.30 am to 5.30 pm,” the EO said. “Due to the Covid-19 imposed curfew, the temple received less revenue in May and June. While the temple records an average revenue of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh on normal days and Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh on Fridays and Sundays, the situation is different now as the revenue has not crossed Rs 2 lakh through sale of darshan tickets and prasadam,” Bramarambha said.