The scam in Endowments Department comes to light during inspection of temple records
Endowments Department officials conducting a verification of their rolls have found that two “employees” who had never been officially appointed were drawing salaries for seven years and even received emolument enhancement as per three Pay Revision Commissions. They were paid a total of more than Rs 21 lakh by way of salaries since 2008.
The scam came to light when Assistant Commissioner E.V. Pushpa Vardhan inspected the accounts of the Sri Polamamba temple at Sangivalasa and sniffed foul play when the service record of a junior assistant, G. Satyanarayana, seemed to have been written in the same handwriting and with the same pen, over a nine-year period, 2001-2010.
The Bhakta Samajam administering the Nookalamma temple at Jayabharat Nagar in Burma
Colony had appointed Mr. Satyanarayana and another person, L.V. Krishna Rao, as assistants before the temple was taken over by the Endowments Department in 2001. They were continued as temporary staff in the department. Later, a manager in the deputy commissioner’s (DC’s) office, Chembolu Srinivasa Rao, issued orders on May 31, 2008 regularising them as junior assistants.
While the assistant commissioner’s (AC’s) office was not aware of these appointments, the number of a letter said to have been sent from the AC’s office to the DC’s office intimating their appointment was in fact that of a letter regarding an inquiry into a temple priest, Mr. Pushpa Vardhan said on Monday.
Later, Mr. Satyanarayana was transferred to the Langar Khana choultry at Bheemli and thence to the Polamamba temple at Sangivalasa since the income of the Bheemli choultry was not sufficient to pay staff salaries. As per Endowment Department practice, he was drawing half of his salary from the choultry and half from the Sangivalsa temple.
Mr. Pushpa Vardhan lodged a complaint with the Vizag police commissioner last Saturday and is preparing to terminate the services of Mr. Satyanarayana, Mr. Krishna Rao and Mr. Chembolu Srinivasa Rao, who is now working at the Venkateswarra Metta temple, and to suspend DC’s office manager D.V.V. Prasada Rao for not verifying facts before sanctioning the salaries of the two employees. The salaries paid to the two will be recovered.
Mr. Pushpa Vardhan said 20 other appointments made during Mr. Srinivasa Rao’s tenure at the DC’s office would now be probed. There were also other allegations against him such as registering gold ornaments received by the Panduranga Swamy temple as rolled gold items and not giving a proper account of monies collected in the hundi of another temple, the assistant commissioner said.