Thiruvananthaparum: After a long tug-of-war the Kerala government has finally allowed to give Sabarimala temple the first installment of Rs. 30 crore out of the Rs. 70 crore earmarked for the holy shrine. The amount will be paid to the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) that controls the temple.
The amount comes is pretty short of the allocated to Sabarimala that the government had promised in its budget earlier this year.
The amount of Rs. 100 crore earmarked for Sabarimala is in addition to the Rs. 200 crore for the development of roads at Sabarimala and to build infrastructure on the baiss of Tirupathi Temple. An amount of Rs. 147.75 crore is earmarked for infrastructure development of Nillackal and another Rs. 40 crore for a sewage treatment plant.
However, after the income at Sabarimala temple fell following the aftermath of Supreme Court verdict concerning women entry, the government blocked the fund promised to the Travancore Devasom Board.
The devotees had taken up the challenge not to put offerings of money at Sabarimala because the money would be directed to the government who took a tough stand against the devotees. This was the reason that the income fell dramatically at Sabarimala.
The Travancore Devasom Board found it difficult to pay its employees’ salaries and other benefits. This prompted the TDB to write many times to the government to release the funds due to it.
The TDB puts the money coming to Sabarimala in fixed investments and uses its proceeds to pay for the expenses following the Sabarimala season.
The Devasom Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, had informed the Assembly that the financial strain of the TDB rose out of the fall in income at Sabarimala.