Tirupati: Tirupati urban development authority ( Tuda ) has, in a letter to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), asked it to pay Rs 36.14 crore towards pending development charges and other dues. The TTD trust board has referred the matter to its finance committee for further action.
TOI has a copy of the trust board resolution which brings to light several interesting aspects about the long-running tussle between TTD and Tuda over pending dues. On July 8, Tuda vice-chairman PS Girisha wrote to TTD about the pending development charges it owes for its various construction activities in Tirumala and Tirupati.
Stating that the AG audit had raised objections for non-collection of balance development charges of Rs 2,40,32,715 for constructions carried out by TTD and for not levying compounding fee of Rs 20,18,69,850 and interest on the balance payment of Rs 13,55,41,215, Girisha asked TTD to pay the balance charges and other arrears totalling Rs 36.14 crore.
At the trust board meeting in September, TTD officials informed the board that in year 2000, the state government rejected its repeated pleas to exempt the temple administration from the ambit of development charges to civic bodies and directed Tuda to levy all applicable charges under the AP Urban Development Authority Act from TTD.
Tuda calculated the development charges, based on various construction activities undertaken by TTD in Tirupati between 1982 and 2006, to be Rs 1.63 crore. Subsequently, the temple body paid Rs 1 crore to Tuda on December 17, 2006 and the balance of Rs 63 lakh on July 21, 2007.
TTD, however, did not pay development charges to Tuda for its construction activities in Tirumala since the hill shrine is considered a gram panchayat represented by its executive authority — which, in this case, was the TTD’s executive officer. This was as per the suggestion of the then standing counsel for TTD.