Tampering with the weight of the laddus has been a perpetual menace at Tirumala. Never did the devotees in the past three decades get the laddus in their original weight.
Here is a sweet news for the devotees hitherto visiting the sacred temple of Lord Venkateswara. After remaining afflicted for several decades, the famous ‘Tirumala Laddu’ has not only regained its missing weight but also its orbicular shape.
Thanks to the rigid and resolute measures being introduced by the TTD’s Executive Officer D. Sambasiva Rao the sweet laddu prasadam is back in its original form and flavour.
Tampering with the weight of the laddus has been a perpetual menace at Tirumala. Never did the devotees in the past three decades get the laddus in their original weight of 175 grams. The menace which rained wealth on the malicious work force remained a flourishing industry till recently as the list of beneficiaries included the temple officials, police and TTD’s security and vigilance personnel.
It is not that the TTD in the past had not initiated any action against the deceptive manoeuvres being adopted by the staff. Every time the management came out with demanding impositions the staff who enjoyed political patronage thwarted it with renewed tactics.
54 employees terminated
The fact that the then TTD’s Executive officer Ch. Venkatapati Raju in the late eighties had terminated 54 employees (working at the laddu counters) at one stroke in it speaks volumes about the intensity with which the illegal practise flourished.
It is against such a disturbing background that an IT-savvy Mr. Rao, who is known to have brought-in several radical changes in the day-to-day administration of the hill temple, decided to take on the fallacious practice. After undergoing a series of trial and errors the bar coding of all the laddu trays which helps in detecting as to who is tampering with the weight of the saccharine balls – whether the kitchen staff, supporting staff or those at sales counters was introduced at the hill temple last month.
The CCTV cameras have been installed at all the laddu counters. An officer of the rank of DSP has been specially entrusted with the responsibility to monitor the entire travel path of the laddus right from at the manufacturing point to the sales counters. This apart the TTD’s Health Officer has also been asked to visit the counters at different intervals and check the weight of the laddus at random before finally submitting a detailed report at the end of the day.
With a wish to assess the fallout of the recent initiatives when this correspondent weighed two laddus obtained by a pilgrim party Ms.S. Karvna, Sitaram bagh, Hyderabad on a scale they were together found to weigh over 355 grams.