Andhra Pradesh government on Monday constituted a Specified Authority to manage the world's richest temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati with Principal Secretary (Revenue-Endowments) as its Chairman.
The authority will be vested with all the powers enjoyed by the Board of Trustees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which had been running the temple.
"The Specified Authority shall exercise all the powers and perform all the functions of Board of Trustees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams until further orders," a Government Order issued by Principal Secretary J C Sharma said here.
Sharma himself will head the authority as he is the Principal Secretary in charge of Endowments Department, and run the affairs of the ancient hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara, which attracts millions of devotees from all over India and also abroad.
The existing Board of TTD, headed by former MP Kanumuri Bapiraju, whose tenure was supposed to end this month, ceased to exist following an amendment brought in by the Chandrababu Naidu Government to the relevant Act.
The amendment to Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act was brought vide an ordinance on August 9.
Accordingly, as an interim arrangement, the government constituted the authority till a regular Board of Trustees is appointed, according to official sources.
Meanwhile, the TDP-led government also scrapped the AP Dharmika Parishad, a body that looks after the religious affairs, constituted by the previous Kiran Kumar Reddy administration in February this year. The Naidu government will soon reconstitute this religious body as well, the sources added.