Daijiworld Media Network - Byndoor (SP)
Byndoor, Mar 9: Addressing a press meet on Tuesday March 9, Guruprasad Gowda, spokesperson of Karnataka Temples and Religious Institutions Federation, who exposed the documents and papers he obtained through the Right to Information Act at the press meet, said that widespread corruption is noticed in the affairs of Kollur Mookambika temple and pointed out that deficiencies as enumerated in the audit report have not been set right.
He said that Rs 29.55 lac was pending payment towards security deposit. He said that details of security deposit received in cash have not been mentioned. He said that account books about the advance dealings of the temple were not produced. Pending dues of Rs 2.83 crore has been shown but details of names of institutions from whom these amounts are due have not been furnished for audit.
Travel allowances bills of the staff have been passed by just writing down in the books and without maintaining detailed records. An amount of Rs 3.08 lac was spent for providing uniforms to temple staff but records about procuring the uniforms and giving them to the staff have not been maintained. Further, Rs 3.94 lac was spent to provide uniforms to the high school children but no records were produced for auditing to prove that the clothes were produced and provided. In one case, a car was provided and an amount of Rs 50,000 was paid as hire charges but there are no papers to prove why and for what purpose the vehicles was provided to the secretary.
Gowda further said, “The temple audit is not proper. All the Muzrai temples’ financial condition is same now. The Mahasangha will reveal the financial status of other Muzrai temples one by one. Kollur is the second largest revenue earning temple in Karnataka.
“In the year 2018-19, the deputy commissioner’s house telephone bill was also paid by the temple committee itself. Some government employees’ salary is also paid by the temple.
“Now the Mahasangha is demanding a fair probe by the police department. The financial mismanagement came to light in 2016 but went on unabated. It is devotees’ money. They gift ornaments to the Goddess which are pocketed by the temple staff. The culprits should be awarded maximum punishment for their irregularities.
“Chief minister B S Yediyurappa and Muzrai minister Kota Srinivas Poojary have to take immediate action. Most of the government officials are involved in this fraud. Crores of money was misused. The temple land is also acquired by someone else. There is no proper balance sheet maintained for the expenses though it is coming under the Muzrai department.
“Let the government conduct a probe into this case and reveal all the illegal business and fraud activities in Kollur temple,” he said.
Gowda warned that unless action is taken against the officials found guilty of improper accounting and financial irregularities, state-wide agitation will be launched.
Sunil Ghanavat, spokesperson of Temples and Religious Institutions Federation Maharashtra, Prabhakar Nayak, Srinivas, and Chandra Mogera, members of the Karnataka federation, were present.