Chief Minister (Telangana) K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday announced that archakas (Priests) and employees working in the temples will be paid salaries on par with the government employees.

According to an official release from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s office, ‘Dhoop Deep and Naivedyam’ programme, which is being implemented in 1,805 temples, will be extended to another 3,000 temples in the state.

He said: “From now, archakas (priests) and other temple employees, numbering about 5,625, will get their salaries on the first of every month like any other government employee. Based on their status, they will get government employees’ salaries. Pay scales will be implemented from November.”

Rao also assured that Dharmika Parishad will be formed to supervise and monitor issues related to temples.

“Nobody took interest in the development of temples in the region (in the past). After Telangana state was formed, we paid keen attention to the development of temples, problems faced by the archakas and the Brahmin welfare. We are taking measures one after another. We are developing Yadadri, Vemulawada, Bhadradri and other temples in a planned manner,” the CM was quoted as saying.

He said although temple priests “enjoy respect” in society, most of them find it difficult to eke out a living. “Parents are not giving their daughters in marriage to those working as archakas,” the Chief Minister said. “Now there will be a drastic change in that situation.”

In the past 1805 temples were given Rs 2,500 per month for the Dhoop, Deep naivedyam. Now, the Telangana government has increased it to Rs 6,000.





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