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TTD chief rules out hike in laddu price in Tirupati
TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy categorically stated that there is no proposal to increase the price of laddus being sold to the devotees.
Tirupati: TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy categorically stated that there is no proposal to increase the price of laddus being sold to the devotees.
Reddy reacting to the reports which appeared recently in a section of the media, in his twitter message on Sunday stated that TTD is not even contemplating to increase the price of the most sought after laddu prasadam of Lord and added that the media reports on the price hike were not
TTD is producing daily about four lakh laddus for distribution to the pilgrims under various categories including one laddu free of cost to each of the devotees who are coming on foot through the two footpaths to Tirumala for darshan (Divya darshan i.e. category I) and also at a subsidised rate of at Rs 10 and Rs 25 to the other categories of devotees who require additional number of laddus.
The other three categories are Rs 300 special entry ticket holders (category II), sarva darshan devotees including slotted darshan and also through queue complex (without time slot) (category 3) and also other Arjitha Seva ticket holders, employees and differently-abled etc (category 4).
This apart, the TTD is also selling laddus at Rs 50 for those who require more laddus across the counter near the temple in Tirumala with a maximum limit of five laddus to each. TTD is incurring huge loss of about Rs 200-240 crore annually for providing laddus at subsidised rate and also free of cost to Divya darshan pilgrims.
According to sources, the production cost of each laddu is around Rs 40. For instance if Rs 300 special entry ticket holder avails four subsidised laddus (Rs 10 and Rs 20) the TTD incurs a loss of Rs 90 as the total cost of four laddus is about Rs 160. In the case of Divya darshan who is also entitled one free laddu and also four laddus at a subisdised rate, the loss for TTD goes up to 130.
Daily 20,000 pilgrims have Divya darshan while special entry ticket Rs 300 also the same number. With regard to slotted and general category who get only four laddus at subsidised rate the approximate loss to TTD is Rs 90 as they pay only Rs 70 for four laddus against the actual cost of Rs 160.
Though chairman denied hiking the price of laddus, reliable sources said that the laddu issue was discussed at an official meeting which had an in-depth disccusion on various aspects including category-wise daily loss the TTD is incurring and the ways and means to overcome it.
Recently the TTD hiked the rent of the rooms in two of its pilgrim complexes at Tirumala, giving strength to the speculation that the TTD if not today is sure to go in for increasing the price of laddus or decrease the number of subsidised laddus being provided to the devotees to offset the loss towards laddu production cost. However, the TTD anticipating devotees resentment seems not ready to go in for hike in laddu price for the time being.