Tens of thousands of devotees visit the Bhadrakali temple everyday not only from neihbouring districts, but also from all over the State.
Warangal Urban: Devotees visiting the famed Bhadrakali temple here are the most displeased lot.With the officials not trying to put things in order, the Bhadrakali temple has become a place where the devout are made to pay through their noses not only for vehicle pujas but also in buying flowers and coconuts to be offered, devotees rue.
The process of collecting ‘dakshina’ in addition to the prescribed charges for ‘vehicle puja’ has become a norm, rather than an exception with the authorities turning a blind eye on the daylight loot, devotees say.
Tens of thousands of devotees visit the Bhadrakali temple everyday not only from neihbouring districts, but also from all over the State. Customarily, new vehicles are brought to the temple for a puja to be performed here.
“Pujaris and the staff at the vehicle puja centre are demanding for additional money. We need to shell out at least Rs 250 to Rs 300 more at the puja centre. While the pujaris ask for Rs 100 to Rs 200 each, the fourth class staff are also demanding for at least Rs 100 just for breaking the pumpkin in front of the vehicle.
There is no monitoring by the authorities. It seems that the pujaris and the Executive Officer (EO) are aware of this, but they are simply ignoring the matter as if it’s a common thing,” bitterly complained devotee B Devender. He also pointed out that the parking lot contractors were also asking for additional money from the people who come for the vehicle puja.
On the other hand, the devotees are also alleging that the traders at the temple were selling the coconut and other paraphernalia used for the vehicle puja at exorbitant prices. “While the actual cost is Rs 100 to Rs 150, the traders are selling them at Rs 400 to Rs 500. It is just looting the people by forming a syndicate.
The authorities are not taking any action on them. Even a single coconut is priced at Rs 40, while it is available for Rs 20 in other shops. The temple authorities must fix the maximum retail price (MRP) for the things sold at the shops, and they should put a display of prices. But it is not happening,” opined another devotee Santosh Manduva, who is also the founder president of Sulakshya Seva Samithi, a local NGO.
Meanwhile, the common devotees are facing trouble in having darshan of the goddess Bhadrakali as the unrecognised VIPs are visiting the temple. “If an MLA or minister or state level official visits the temple, it is mandatory to welcome and facilitate VIP darshan.
But some people with the help of the temple staff and priests are offered VIP darshan and ‘special treatment’ at the temple. It is alleged that some ‘fake reporters’ and press photographers are helping some people to have darshan in special queue lines (direct entry) with the help of the staff and priests.
This is causing much inconvenience to the common devotees who are forced to wait in queue lines,” said D Suresh, another devotee. He also found fault with the officials for not enforcing the Covid-19 norms at the temple. “No physical distance is maintained on the temple premises and there are no facilities to sanitise the hands even at the prasadam counters,” Santhosh Manduva added.
When contacted Bhadrakali temple Executive Officer (EO) R Sunitha said that she had earlier received complaints about the collection of additional money by the employees and parking contractor and notices were issued in the past. “However, we will look into the complaints once again. Coming to compliance of the Covid-19 norms, we are unable to ensure physical distance by the devotees due to heavy rush,” she said and added that they had set up a handwash facility at the temple.
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