Lockdown: Mighty shrines face warmth as coffers dry up

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NEW DELHI: The lockdown looks to procure hit man and God alike.

As doors of necessary shrines across the nation dwell shut for over 45 days now, their day to day collections procure hit rock backside, so noteworthy in tell that some temple managements are even struggling to meet odd costs. Some are assembly the shortfall by dipping into their reserves.

Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, which earlier college to stare a median month-to-month earnings of round Rs 3 crore, is now netting a mere Rs 7.5 lakh. The temple wants Rs 1.1 crore to pay salaries to its 307 employees and meet assorted costs. Senior officers of Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs the temple affairs, didn’t expose how they were assembly the shortfall.

Within the same plan, Guruvayur temple has witnessed its month-to-month collections nosedive from round Rs 5 crore to Rs 1.5 lakh. The temple is now assembly its routine costs of Rs 10 crore month-to-month largely from the curiosity from its mounted deposits of Rs 1,529 crore. Its reserves consist of about 700kg of gold.

The lockdown has precipitated a loss in income of round Rs 100 crore to Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the temple, cancelled the 10-day festival that was scheduled in March and the Vishu in mid-April. It was also forced to assassinate two month-to-month pujas.

The hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, notion to be the richest Hindu temple in the sector, too, has taken worthwhile. Pre-lockdown, the temple’s month-to-month earnings was Rs 200 crore, which has now come down to zero. Its month-to-month costs are round Rs 150 crore, which the temple board is now managing from some “surplus funds”. The temple has a money reserve of Rs 14,000 crore.

In Maharashtra, the infamous Saibaba Temple at Shirdi, which earlier college to bag Rs 22 crore month-to-month pre-lockdown, is now seeing “negligible” income. The Sai Sansthan, which has a month-to-month wage invoice of Rs 18 crore for its 6,000 employees, was unable to pay salaries for the months of March and April. The Sansthan has determined no longer to reinvest the matured mounted deposits for paying salaries. The temple has a deposit of Rs 2,500 crore, rather than a giant gold reserve.

The Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, which has 250 employees, has been forced to pay the month-to-month wage invoice of Rs 85 lakh from the administration fund. The temple’s month-to-month earnings of Rs 8 crore has totally dried up. The belief, which has a mounted deposit of Rs 350 crore, is confident of boating via this segment.

Mumbai’s iconic Haji Ali dargah is being maintained with the reserve funds as no collection has come throughout the lockdown. Earlier, Haji Ali would bag between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 30 lakh month-to-month.

Within the same plan, Dargah Ajmer in Rajasthan is banking on its financial savings and curiosity to meet month-to-month costs of Rs 55-60 lakh. The Dargah’s earnings procure nosedived since lockdown. The Dargah administration refused to share dinky print of its month-to-month earnings without permission from the ministry of minority affairs.

Up north, Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu has been managing its affairs with its have reserves. The temple has 3,000 employees working for it. To shore up its day to day collection, its board is planning to initiate “paid prasad” companies on-line. On a median, the day to day collection at the shrine earlier college to be Rs 1 crore, which has come down to almost zero.

Assam’s Kamakhya temple has considered its average day to day collections of Rs 1.5 lakh-2 lakh change into “nil” now. Its month-to-month expenditure before the coronavirus disaster was round Rs 40 lakh. Now, the temple board is managing the expenditure from its reserves.

Closure of the infamous Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, has taken a heavy toll on its collections, which has fallen to Rs 1,000-2,000 day to day from nearly Rs 3 lakh. The total loss to the temple to this level is estimated to be round Rs 1.65 crore. The temple’s money reserve is round Rs 600 crore, from which the administration is assembly the month-to-month costs of Rs 5 crore.

The Golden Temple in Punjab has also been hit badly. Its earnings crashed from nearly Rs 7 crore a month to excellent Rs 4 lakh. It, nonetheless, speedily improved as the assert allowed some leisure in lockdown.

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