Annavaram temple to introduce buffet system

Annavaram temple to introduce buffet system

Visakha Sri Sarada Peetham Seer Swaroopananda recently objected to serving meals in steel plates at free meals to devotees

Annavaram: As per the directives of the Commissioner of Endowment department, the Annavaram temple authorities are planning to introduce a buffet system to devotees before Sankranti festival in 2023.

A few days ago, Visakha Sri Sarada Peetham Seer Swaroopananda objected and opposed serving meals in steel plates at Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy temple in Annavaram.

Following this, the Annavaram Devasthanam authorities are reportedly planning to introduce western mode of buffet system, which is worse than the previous method of serving meals in steel plates.

They are also getting ready with a large hall to accommodate devotees for serving food in buffet system. But no clarity was given regarding the use of banana leaves, steel plates or tendu leaves.

According to temple authorities, at present Annavaram Sri Satyadeva Annaprasada Distribution Trust got Rs 56 crore in the form of fixed deposit receipts (FDRs) in various nationalised banks. Normally the Trust on an average can feed 2,500 to 3,000 members per day. It is also learnt that the temple got nearly Rs 120 crore in the form of cash and other assets. Also, the temple has 723 acres.

The temple authorities said that 15 batches, each bath with 325 persons, are served meals per day in Annadana Satram.

They said that it is becoming too difficult to supply banana leaves for 3,000 people per day. Besides, due to non-availability of ample space to serve free meals to devotees, the officials are planning to introduce buffet system to reduce overcrowding, before next Sankranti festival, after Temple chairman IV Rohit, Endowment department officials and other dignitaries discusses about this.

According to reliable sources, a few employees of Annavaram temple felt that Visakha Seer Swaroopananda targeted only Annavaram temple deliberately ignoring other temples where steel plates are used daily. "When steel plates are used in Simhachalam, Tirumala and other temples in the State, why does the Seer targeted Annavaram temple and expressing ire on the temple authorities," they questioned. They urged that Peethadhipatis should influence the higher authorities to give orders for using banana leaves and tendu leaves in all the temples of Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, some devotees doubted whether Visakha Seer Swaroopananda would accept buffet system or not. Many devotees are questioning the introduction of buffet system, which is a part of western culture. The devotees are also questioned why the temple authorities are not in favour of continuing the old practice of serving meals in banana leaves despite having huge financial resources and assets. Devotees wanted Visakha Seer to come out with his opinion on the introduction of buffet system.

Responding to The Hans India, Annavaram Temple Executive Officer NVSN Murthy stated that in view of inadequate space in Annadanam Hall, they are planning to introduce buffet system, which may help reduce the rush of thronging devotees. He said that the construction is already underway for a big hall to introduce buffet system for devotees. The decision of using banana leaves or steel plates is left to the higher authorities, he added.

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