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Corruption delays completion of TTD auditorium

Construction of the Rs15-crore complex consisting of a temple, auditorium and guest house was taken up by TTD authorities in 2009.

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Bangaloreans have to wait for a few more months to hold religious and cultural programmes at a much-hyped auditorium as corruption by engineers and apathy by authorities are delaying its completion.

The Rs15-crore complex consisting of a temple, auditorium and guest house was taken up by the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD) authorities in 2009. Of this, only the temple has been opened to public so far.

No wonder, many locals still long for the community hall which served them so well in the past and was razed to give way to the complex. The hall maintained by the TTD was convenient for organising marriage functions. Many people considered holding such functions there as a good omen.

“I was not happy with the TTD’s decision to demolish the community hall. It was very convenient for middle-class people who could not afford to organise marriage functions at Tirupati or Tirumala,’’ said N Muniraju, a resident of Malleswaram.

Rampant corruption is one of the reasons for the delay in the completion of the auditorium.  It is being said that engineers of TTD come to Bangalore for personal work and find time to visit the construction site too. “Their intention is to have own work as well as God’s work done at the cost of the TTD,’’ said a contractor.

Another contractor, who took up electrical work at no-loss-no-profit basis, alleged that one of the engineers demanded Rs40,000 from him for approving the work order. “He demanded Rs40,000.

But I wanted to give him only Rs5,000 since I quoted the lowest price for the work. Finally, he agreed to approve the work order for Rs20,000. I paid Rs10,000 just a few months ago. Now he is asking for the remaining amount even after his retirement last month,’’ said the contractor on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Peddappa Reddy, civil engineer, TTD, said from Tirupati that the construction of the building [for auditorium] was already over a few months ago. “As of now, electrical and other works are in progress. We may need two to three months to complete the work. We are trying to keep the auditorium for inauguration by the end of August or September,’’ he said.

However, many of TTD employees are not convinced. On the guest house, G Vasanthkumari, deputy executive officer, TTD, said it would have 24 rooms.  “Ten rooms will be allotted for staff and the remaining will be given for short stay to those who organise functions,’’ said Vasanthakumari.

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