Around 88 outsourcing staff of Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, at Simhachalam, in Vizag staged a protest at the temple on Wednesday morning. They were protesting because the temple authorities have allegedly not paid their salaries for the past three months.
On this issue, the Devasthanam Executive Officer (EO) MV Suryakala said that the problem lies with the contract agency which is yet to submit the bills, amounting to about Rs 12.50 lakh. The temple authorities had faced the same problem previously when the contract agency did not submit the bills for three months. She said that the temple authorities are ready to pay the outsourcing staff in Vizag once the bills are submitted by the contract agency.
Talking to the outsourcing staff, Suryakala assured them to arrange their pending salaries within 10 days. Meanwhile, the staff will be paid one month’s salary immediately. Also, after the completion of this tender process, the outsourcing staff will be allotted to a new contract agency. The Simhachalam EO also said that it is not a good thing for the staff to protest without giving any prior information to the temple authorities.
On the EO’s word, the outsourcing staff rejoined their duty later in the afternoon. The staff said that they trust the temple authorities and are expecting to get paid within 10 days.
Last year, the Central Government had sanctioned close to Rs. 53 crore as funds to develop the Simhachalam Temple infrastructure. Recently, the annual Giri Pradakshina had to be called off at the temple due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation.