COVID-19 consequence: Travancore Devasom Board’s revenue crash-dives from Rs 261 crore to Rs 21 crore
oi-Ajay Joseph Raj P
Thiruvananthapuram, May 28: With temples that come under the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) being closed to devotees on account of coronavirus pandemic, the TDB is seen in a bad shape.
In Kerala, the Travancore Board controls all the temples in the southern districts, including the famed Sabarimala temple, which is literally the cash cow that brings in the much-needed revenues — used in meeting expenses like payment of salaries to the various educational institutions under the TDB.
According to reports, the TDB gets a monthly bill of Rs 40 crore for salaries and pension.
With its coffers being empty, they have now approached the State government for funds. The TDB also requires Rs 5 crore for procuring the needs of the temples under it.
Until now, the board always used to bank on the revenues that came from the temples, principally the Sabarimala, to meet the expenses. The revenues nose-dived from Rs 261 crore, when times were good to a paltry Rs 21 crore, leaving the TDB in dire straits.
In 2018, the BJP/RSS and Sangh Parivar forces put up a strong resistance when the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged 10-50.
It was mayhem between them and the Kerala Police who was ready to provide security to women who wished to pray at the temple.
“The TDB authorities are keeping their fingers crossed on how the upcoming festival season in November will turn our,” said a source in the know of things of the day to day running of the TDB.
Story first published: Friday, May 28, 2021, 12:12 [IST]