The temple authorities are gearing up to call for fresh tenders

Finally, the technical experts have given a nod to construct the ramps for Mallikarjuna Maha Mandapam which is under construction at Arjuna Veedhi in One Town. The issue has been pending for two years as the committee has not aired its views ever since it was constituted.

Now, the temple authorities are gearing up to call for fresh tenders for constructing the ramps. Earlier, the ramps were also part of the Mallikarjuna Maha Mandapam.

The temple authorities, now, decided to call for fresh tenders and rope in big players who have expertise in construction of flyovers and bridges. The ramps are likely to cost Rs. 20 crore, though initial estimates were around Rs. 12 crore.

On completion of the maha mandapam and the ramps, the entrance of the Durga temple will be shifted to the east side in Arjuna Street.

The exit will remain the same on the south side of the ghat road. Traffic problem on the national highway between Vijayawada and Hyderabad and between Ashoka Pillar and Kummaripalem will be eased after the inauguration of the new entrance on the east side of the temple.

According to the original design, two ramps – exist and entry – would be part of the mandapam. It was estimated that the entry ramp would cost Rs. 8.2 crore and exit ramp Rs. 3.2 crore.

The officials planned the Maha Mandapam on lines of Vaikuntam queue complex at Tirumala. The devotees need not stand in long queues under scorching sun and rain to have darshan of the presiding deity. The temple authorities had planned to construct the Maha Mandapam to solve many problems -- parking, queue lines, amenities for pilgrims -- at one go.

But, some strongly favoured the ramps to ease traffic on ghat road etc, few opposed it fearing the designs.

The then Endowments Commissioner P. S. V. Prasad had also raised objections over the ramps, and the Endowments Department had second thoughts on the design of the mandapam after three-fourth works were completed.

The department had constituted an expert committee to study the feasibility of ramps, which are part of the first-of-its-kind mandapam.