Nation Crime 25 Aug 2019 Furore over alleged ...

Furore over alleged misuse of TTD funds

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AVINASH SUBRAMANYAN
Published Aug 25, 2019, 2:38 am IST
Updated Aug 25, 2019, 2:39 am IST
Anonymous letter on misappropriation of Rs 4 crore.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
 Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams

TIRUPATI: The alleged misappropriation of Rs 4 crore of funds by the New Delhi based working staff of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and Local Advisory Committee (LAC) has kicked up a furore in the administrative circles with several Hindu rights activists pointing out at the supporting attitude of the temple administration towards their Delhi counterparts and their indiscriminate spending of funds.

The alleged scam came to light after an unknown working staff member of TTD wrote an anonymous letter to one of the top brass of TTD, informing him about the alleged malpractices and swindling of Rs 4 crore funds by some staff and LAC at Sri Venkateswara temple in New Delhi.

 

According to the letter, a working staff member of TTD, who was recently deputed to New Delhi, had noticed some malpractices in S.V. Temple in which four of the temple staff including a former employee were involved. He pointed out the negligence of LAC and also claimed to have gathered some information and proofs, which would help in investigating the scam.

Deccan Chronicle accessed a copy of the letter in which the TTD employee had listed out 30 odd allegations against the staff working at New Delhi including the present AEO and former AEO, a senior assistant, junior assistant and few others, and has sought a probe into the matter.

The letter stated: “An amount of Rs 5 lakh is being easily siphoned away by the staff every month. Usually before the formation of the LAC, the expenditure was around some Rs 1.4 crore per year which was enhanced to Rs 7 crore per year. The higher the amount sanctioned, the greater the loss occurred to TTD.”

He also urged that a thorough inquiry should be made only after transferring the staff as they could influence the inquiry. Rayalaseema Porata Samithi convener, Mr P. Naveen Kumar Reddy, who first exposed the issue said, “We have received a copy of the letter in which one of the working staff of TTD complained to the Executive officer about the indiscriminate spending of TTD funds and other malpractices the staff and LAC members were involved in. It was learnt that the some officials of TTD working at S.V. temple in New Delhi have allegedly swindled TTD funds up to Rs 4 crore. They have allegedly diverted funds allotted to them under Anna Prasadams by increasing the number of devotees. This apart, there have been allegations of harassment of the temple priests by the officials who had imposed a “daily collection cut” of Rs 1,000 per day from the Harati plate,” Mr Naveen alleged.

Meanwhile, reacting to the allegation of TTD chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy, some time ago, Mr Naveen expressed concern over the alleged misappropriation of funds by TTD staff and LAC, and said that an inquiry would be conducted and no one would be spared if found guilty.

It was learnt that the state government has also ordered for a probe in the matter. As part of this, the adviser to Andhra Pradesh Government, Ajeya Kallam is said to have visited the S.V. Temple in New Delhi on Friday to get first hand information about the quick developments.

Local advisory chief resigns

Resident Commissioner of Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi Praveen Prakash, who was appointed as the chairman of TTD’s Local Advisory Committee (LAC) that manages Sri Venkateswara Temple and TTD’s Information Centre in New Delhi, resigned from his chairmanship on Saturday.

The Resident Commissioner’s resignation from TTD’s LAC chairman post comes in the backdrop of an ongoing probe into the alleged misappropriation of TTD funds and certain irregularities reported at S.V. Temple in New Delhi.

According to the sources, soon after the allegation related to the misappropriation of funds and irregularities by some temple staff and LAC had surfaced, TTD immediately requested the Resident Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into an anonymous petition dated July 22, 2019 regarding the alleged irregularities in conduct of affairs of TTD Temple located at Gole Market in New Delhi.  

However, while the probe by the LAC chairman was progressing, the State Government pressed the Vigilance and Enforcement Department to conduct a parallel inquiry into the alleged scam. It has been learnt that a parallel probe was ordered after TTD Trust Board chairman Y.V. Subbareddy felt that there is a need for a thorough probe by an outside agency.

The Resident Commissioner, in his resignation, submitted to TTD EO Anil Kumar Singhal that he was utterly bewildered to discover that on Thursday evening, a Sub-Inspector rank officer of V&E Department took all the records concerned away in account of an inquiry having been ordered by the Vigilance and Enforcement Depart-ment on the same issue.

Mentioning pertinent issues that may arise following a parallel inquiry, Prakash stated: “I strive to explain certain issues over telephone to the highest officers in the state, including TTD EO and additional DG of V&E. Unfortunately the parallel inquiry has not been called off.” Therefore, driven by a deep desire to protect the painstakingly built relationship of this office with the Telugu community in Delhi and others and to retain the capacity of this office, I am constrained to submit my resignation from the LAC”.

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