Mumbai: The Shirdi Sansthan authorities
today said the new proposals to charge VIPs for `darshan` at
the popular Saibaba temple were aimed at controlling the
hordes of devotees with VIP passes and not an attempt to boost
"The Saibaba temple is one of the richest in the
country, with investments of Rs 406 crore," Sansthan trustee
Ashok Khambekar told PTI over phone.
"During last year, the temple received Rs 95 crore
`gupt dhan` (secret offering), Rs 107 crore donations, 15
kg gold and 282 kg silver," Khambekar said.
The move to charge `VIP devotees` has been made for
the convenience of the common man as there is a feeling that
those with VIP passes get preference at the cost of the common
devotee who stands in a queue.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has suggested that the
Sansthan contribute Rs 50 crore towards the airport coming up
at Kakdi, 18 km from Shirdi, he said.
The trustees, at a meeting here yesterday, decided to
do away with VIP darshan because it caused inconvenience, and
introduce paid darshan, on the lines of Tirupati temple.