Govinda, Govinda! Hotels fleecing pilgrims of Tirumala
Govinda, Govinda! Hotels fleecing pilgrims of Tirumala

Tirupati: Expressing anger over hotels looting Tirumala pilgrims, the Hyderabad high court issued notices to TTD authorities over their failure in curbing exorbitant prices of food in restaurants and hotels. Even after the High Court’s interference two months ago, Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams authorities did not wake up in taking action against hoteliers who have been selling the food at high rates. 

There is no change in attitude of hotel managements and continuing the loot. “A private restaurant has charged Rs 284, including Rs 10 GST for eating two pongals and two vadas. With pilgrims shocked to see the bill, they asked why such high rates. Hotel staff answered that there is official permission to sell the food at these rates,” said a local who was witness to the event. This is just one incident. Most of the pilgrims who are focused on Lord’s darshan pay in silence and leave. 

Hotel managements who bid high rates to secure tenders are fleecing pilgrims to make their business profitable. To circumvent the TTD guidelines on the rate structure, hotel managements are using two types of bills. One with the higher rates are given to the customers and the bill which complies with the TTD guidelines are used as filling copy. When Vigilance staff come for inspection, they are shown the second type of bills. Here’s the clear case of cheating: The hotels are not displaying the TTD fixed rates on the display menu.

An interesting point here to note is, hotel lease tenders were called by the TTD authorities three days ago for Annapurna and Sannidanam hotels. There was good response from the applicants. But the tender boxes were not opened citing High Court case. Similarly, more than five Janatha hotels tenders were also pending, so far TTD higher officials did not take decision to call the tenders for new Janatha hotels opening for devotees’ convenience.

Meanwhile, four days ago TTD Chief Vigilance and Security Officer Ake Ravi Krishna raided few hotels with his team. In his raids, CVSO noticed that TTD fixed rates for food items were not displayed properly. In this connection, CVSO warned the hoteliers to maintain the prices which were fixed by the TTD in tender agreement.

Speaking to The Hans India CVSO A Ravi Krishna said that hoteliers were warned over any violation of TTD fixed prices. “We have put up the vigilance complaint cell numbers in various places on hill. Pilgrims can call these numbers in case of they are being charged over and above TTD rates,” said Ravi Krishna.