TTD staff suspended for selling laddus meant for donors

TTD staff suspended for selling laddus meant for donors

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam  (TTD) suspended an employee of its Donor Cell for selling 60,000 laddu prasad at a premium meant for select distribution to those making large donations.

TTD’s Executive Officer (EO)0 D Sambasiva Rao suspended the employee Venkataramana on Tuesday for laddus allocated to him for distribution to the donors and selling them instead.

The Deputy EO found the fraud while checking the records. The employee has been working with the cell for the past two and a half years.

Determined to curb the most sought after laddus being sold in black market, the TTD has completed installation of CCTV cameras in all the 60 counters. But the employee is said to have devised a foolproof technique to divert the prasadam and sell them at a premium.

Sources said the employee was selling laddus meant to be despatched to the donors by post or courier to regular devotees who ask for extra laddus at premium prices.

“He diverted 500 to 1000 laddus a month. It is strange that the TTD vigilance failed to notice that,” a local BJP leader said, adding that it would be difficult to sell laddus meant for donors without the temple authorities’ knowledge.

TTD says about 90 to 100 million laddus are sold to pilgrims each year. A 175 gram laddu costs Rs 25.

TTD says though use of high quality ingredients in the laddus make it costly; it is selling the prasadam in subsidised rates. Authorities also sell two laddus at Rs 10 a piece for pilgrims reaching the temple by foot.

As part of its clean initiative, TTD has introduced sales of laddu online and issued gloves to Srivari sevakulu who issue laddus to the pilgrims hygienically. Gloves have also been given to volunteers serving food at the Anna Prasadam complex.

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