The Telangana government today said the archakas (priests) and employees working in temples will be given the state government's pay scales from November onwards. 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. The CM, who held a meeting with the archakas from all over the state, 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 on a planned manner," the CM was quoted as saying. In the past, 1,805 temples were given Rs 2,500 per month for 'Dhoop, Deep, Naivedyam' and the state government has increased it to Rs 6,000. "We will give Rs 6,000 per month to another 3,000 temples in the state. With this, the 'Dhoop, Deep, Naivedyam' scheme will be implemented across 4,805 temples in the State," Rao explained. He further said that as per records, temples in Telangana have about about 83,000 acres under their control and the government will take special care to protect them from encroachment.