Mumbai: The Devendra Fadnavis government is planning to lease land in Bandra, at a nominal rate of Rs 1, to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) for 30 years. A booking counter and Tirupati Balaji temple will be built on the plot.
A proposal in this regard is expected to be tabled before the state Cabinet in the coming days, a senior official has said. Moreover, in a reciprocal gesture, the Andhra Pradesh government is likely to provide land to the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust for a Shirdi Sai Baba temple.
A senior Mantralaya official, requesting anonymity, told this newspaper, “The TTD had asked the state government to lease the land free of cost for a Tirupati Balaji temple. But as a policy, the state can't give the land free of cost. Therefore, a nominal charge is being levied on the land.”
The state revenue department had sought a report on the availability of land from the suburban collector. “Six-hundred-forty-eight square metres of land located in Bandra will be provided to the TTD for building the temple, booking counter, information centre and a prayer hall,” the official added. Pilgrims would be able to make reservations for darshan at the Mumbai centre. The centre will also provide information regarding pilgrimages to the famous temple town in Andhra Pradesh. At present, the TTD has a centre in Sion, which also houses an idol of Lord Venkateswara, the presiding deity of the Tirupati temple. The same idol would be shifted to the new plot, sources said.
According to sources, devotees from Maharashtra constitute 27 per cent of the total visitors offering prayers at the Tirumala Balaji temple every day....