Tirupati, Mar 28: A massive corruption racket has been unearthed in Tirumala, Tirupati. Senior temple officials claimed that corruption can be found in each and every level of Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams (TTD) which is believed to be one of the richest temple trust board in India handling Rs 2,000 crore annual budget. [UPDATE: Tirupati: Money, property, land scams hit Tirumala]
The national daily Times of India quoted the senior officials as saying, "It's (Tirupati) a mini state in itself, giving rise to corruption at every level."
The daily claims that '1+1' is a code word used to trick visitors and pilgrims in Tirupati. According to the code, a pilgrim has to pay double of what he is entitled for a service.
The newspaper quoted a visitor, Madhava Reddy saying, "Though an AC room costs Rs 1,500, I had to spend Rs 5,000 since they took Rs 1,500 as the commission towards accommodation (under 1+1 scheme) and Rs 2,000 more for darshan and prasadam."
Meanwhile, a former TTD executive said, "It's institutionalized corruption as an artificial demand is created by the staff in cahoots with brokers."
An advocate Mr Srinivas claimed, "Thousands of books are printed at the TTD printing press. Corruption in this wing alone runs into Rs 150 crore."