Maharashtra may give 648 sqm plot in Bandra to Tirupati trust for ₹1
The state government plans to allot a 648 sqm plot at Bandra to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam for ₹1 to build a centre for devotees from Maharashtra. The proposal is likely to come up for discussion in the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is the trust that handles operations of the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is considered the second richest and most visited religious centre in the world. “Last month, the trust requested the state revenue department to grant the plot at Kherwadi for the centre, from where devotees will be able to book accommodation, darshan and other facilities,” said a senior official from the state revenue department. “The trust, however, wants the plot for free on the grounds that it will be used for charity and not commercial purposes.”
Going by the ready reckoner rates, which are almost half the market value, the cost of the plot is around ₹13 crore.
State finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar sought to justify the move saying it will be a transaction between two governments. “Around 25 lakh pilgrims from Maharashtra visit the temple every year. We will provide the land to the trust and the Andhra Pradesh government will give us a one acre plot in the state,” Mungantiwar said. “The state will build a dharamshala (resthouse) and facilitation centre. The plan is to provide a facility on the lines of Haj House.”
Currently, the temple trust has an information centre at Sion. Mungantiwar’s wife Sapna was one of the board members of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam until the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in May. She was appointed to the position in May 2018. Mungantiwar clarified the plan was made prior to her appointment to the temple trust board.