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The Dharashiv Collector established a committee to probe reported irregularities concerning the ornaments associated with the revered goddess at the prominent Tulja Bhavani Temple in Tuljapur, an official revealed on Thursday, stated a report in PTI.
According to the PTI report, the official said that a recent audit of the temple's assets revealed the presence of 207 kilogrammes of gold and 1,280 kilogrammes of silver. This assessment, however, revealed discrepancies.
Collector Sachin Ombase of Dharashiv (formerly Osmanabad) told PTI that the committee has been tasked with making recommendations on these irregularities within three to four days. The committee's findings will be used to determine the next steps.
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Ombase stated, "Earlier, a count was conducted, but there have been alterations in some ornaments, which have now come to our attention. The precise details about these ornaments will be outlined in the final report. I cannot comment until the final report is issued."
The chief priest of the temple, Kishor Gagne, expressed concerns about the recurring formation of committees without any consequential actions taken. He highlighted that annual audits include cash assessments while describing the ornaments merely as "gold-like" and "silver-like".
"Committee after committee is formed but no action takes place in this case," Gagne said.
Reportedly, the Tulja Bhavani temple's offerings were tallied earlier this year by the temple administration. Within a week, the administration said, they counted 207 kilograms of gold, 1,280 kilograms of silver, including jewellery, and 354 diamonds. And the counting was expected to continue for a fortnight more. The age-old temple draws lakhs of visitors every year. After nearly 15 years, the administration and temple trust began the process of cataloguing the valuables donated to the temple by devotees.
Vishwas Kadam, the public relations officer of the Tulja Bhavani shrine, reported that a team of 35 individuals worked diligently from 10 am to 6:30-7 pm daily. The team is provided meals and refreshments at the counting spot, where 35-40 cameras have been installed for security.
Meanwhile, the Dharashiv collector Ombase had earlier said that the temple's revenue had also significantly increased. It nearly doubled from Rs 29 crore to Rs 54 crore in fiscal year 2022-23. Ombase, who is also the president of the temple trust, highlighted that Rs 15 crore was earned through paid darshan, while Rs 19 crore came from contributions made by devotees in the donation boxes.