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Home   News   Effect of takeover of temples by Govt : Lack of amenities at temples despite devotees offering crores of rupees

Effect of takeover of temples by Govt : Lack of amenities at temples despite devotees offering crores of rupees

May 2, 2014

Vaishakha Shukla Paksha Chaturthi, Kaliyug Varsha 5116

Every year, Western Maharashtra Devasthan Samiti (Samiti) gets Rs. 15 crores from Shri Mahalakshmi Devi Temple and Rs. 1 crore from Jyotiba Temple; but the amount is not used for providing amenities to devotees. Presently, the Samiti has Rs. 57 crores in its account. The devotees are unable to know the purpose of the Samiti for keeping such amounts in its account. The messy management of Samiti is resulting in creating unnecessary inconvenience to devotees. People therefore; feel that the ‘Devasthan Committee’ is set up for nurturing selfish interests of its officers and employees; rather than providing facilities to devotees.

1. Post of Secretary of Western Maharashtra Devasthan Samiti lying vacant for 2 years !

The State Chief Minister has appointed members on Samiti. Although it is required to appoint 7 members on the Committee, the CM has appointed only 4 members with Shri. Rajaram Mane, the District Collector as its President. After the then Secretary Suryavanshi resigned from his post, another secretary should have been appointed immediately; but that has not been done by the Government. Now, Dy. District Collector, Sanjay Pawar has to look after the job as its in-charge in addition to his duties. The staff of Samiti says that Pawar has to look after both the responsibilities; therefore, there is lot of work pressure on him. Despite repeated demands for filling up the post of Secretary, it is a mystery why the post is not yet filled up.

2. Devasthan Committee earns crores of rupees through 3067 temples !

Samiti is in charge of 3067 temples from Kolhapur, Sangli and Sindhu-durga districts involving annual turnover of Rs. 16 crores. Out of the income of Shri Mahalakshmi Temple and Shri Jyotiba Temple, Rs. 50 lakhs are spent on salaries of its employees. During the fair held in the Hindu month of Chaitra, several facilities have to be provided to devotees which cost Rs. 20 lakhs. Balance Rs. 30 lakhs are spent in providing facilities in the temple throughout the year. This amount is not adequate; therefore, devotees have to face problems of narrow roads, no toilets, water and parking place and uncleanliness etc.

Shri Jyotiba temple, Jejuri

3. Funds in donation boxes under Samiti’s control !

Priest has right over money and other things offered by devotees in the sanctum sanctorum of temple; whereas donation box kept in the temple belongs to Samiti, says the officer of Samiti. On number of occasions, there have been arguments between Sripujak (priests) and Devasthan Samiti’s employees on fixing of donation boxes. Devasthan Samiti showed total disregard to demands made by Sripujaks and fixed more number of donation boxes.

4. Amount in donation box deposited directly in the account of Samiti !

Samiti has fixed donation boxes in many temples, like Shri Mahalakshmi, Jyotiba and Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir (Kolhapur) etc.  The amount so collected is deposited in bank instead of providing facilities to devotees as the Samiti feels that the money is not to be used. Samiti undertakes drives to collect Rs. 50,000 to Rs. one lakh whenever any construction work is to be done related to any temple for meeting the expenses; then why does it not want to extend facilities in these temples ?

5. Devotees deprived of amenities like toilets, water etc. !

Shri Mahalakshmi Temple is a temple that generates lots of funds; still Samiti has no interest in giving amenities to devotees. Devotees have to stand in the sun for taking ‘darshan’. They have to shell out money for even taking care of their shoes. The problems of drinking water and security are still not solved or is the Samiti concerned only about getting more interest on deposits of Rs. 57 crores ?

Source : HJS

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