Maharashtra government likely to allot Rs 13 crore 648-sqm Bandra plot to Tirupati trust at Rs 1

Maharashtra government is planning to allot a plot in Bandra to the Tirupati trust. The state government is likely to allot a 648-sqm plot worth Rs 13 crore at Bandra to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam for Rs 1 to build a centre for devotees from Maharashtra.

According to the Hindustan Times, the proposal is likely to come up for discussion in the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Currently, the temple trust has an information centre at Sion. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is the trust that handles operations of the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. A senior official from the state revenue department told the leading daily, “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. The trust, however, wants the plot for free on the grounds that it will be used for charity and not commercial purposes.”

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The trust oversees the operations and finances of the second richest and the most visited religious centre in the world. It is also involved in various social, religious, literary and educational activities. The Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh is considered the second richest and most visited religious centre in the world.

While justifying the move, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that it will be a transaction between two governments. Mungantiwar told the Hindustan Times, “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. The state will build a dharamshala (rest house) and facilitation centre. The plan is to provide a facility on the lines of Haj House.” Interestingly, Mungantiwar’s wife Sapna was one of the board members of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.

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