Thiruvananthapuram: The Consumerfed has issued a warning that if a debt of Rs 1 crore is not settled promptly, the distribution of pooja items at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple will be halted, which could put the daily rituals at risk.
The caution follows an accumulation of debts related to the purchase of items for annadhanam and poojas. A letter from the temple’s storekeeper was sent to the governing body requesting that they address the problem of insufficient temple store stock. The rice, condiments, and other pooja items are typically purchased from Consumerfed and Marketfed.
The Consumerfed has outstanding debts of Rs 73.57 lakh as of December, with the dues standing at Rs 28.55 lakh until May last year. It has been demanded that the full amount be paid, but it remains unpaid. On December 21, the Regional Manager of Consumerfed sent a letter to the Executive Officer of Padmanabhaswamy temple requesting payment of the full amount.
According to the storekeeper’s letter, officials called and warned that the supply of goods would be suspended if the dues were not cleared immediately, and the officials indicated that the amount owed would increase if the arrears for the past three months were included.
However, Madhavan Nair, the government representative in the governing body, claimed that there was no financial crisis, and the delay in checking bills from the store and allotting the money led to outstanding debt.
The temple’s monthly expenses, including salaries and pensions for the 235 employees, amount to Rs 1.25 crore. The former executive officer of the temple requested Rs 10 crore for salary and pensions from the government, but only Rs 2 crore was granted, with a repayment deadline of one year. Nonetheless, it is reported that the money has yet to be paid.