TTD move to take over Tiruchanur

The residents of Tiruchanur are up in arms against the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) management for deciding in its Trust Board meeting to take the entire village into its fold for providing amenities to the visiting pilgrims.

The Tiruchanur panchayat is abutting the temple city of Tirupati and is home to Goddess Padmavathi temple. The shrine is located about 4 km from the Tirupati railway station, which is the most-thronged pilgrim centre in the TTD fold, next only to Tirumala hills. The crowd has, of late, increased manifold and the TTD sees it imperative to take the vicinity under its control to provide amenities to the pilgrims.

The Board’s decision taken on Wednesday, though not totally unexpected, came as a bolt from the blue for the residents, who thoroughly resisted the attempt to ‘take over’ the village, which they fear could hang a big question mark over their very existence. Though the contours of the takeover plan are still hazy and the residents lack clarity about the proposal, the fear of being driven out is palpable.

At the dharna held on Thursday evening, the residents resented the TTD move to compromise on their right to live in the garb of development. “Development has to be inclusive. The residents, temple and the pilgrims are mutually inter-dependent and it is improper for the TTD to grab the entire panchayat in the name of providing amenities to the pilgrims”, says Murugaiah, a resident.

CITU secretary V. Ganga Raju vehemently opposed the proposal, indicating that the TTD could instead fund the village panchayat and still develop amenities through the latter. The villagers are waiting with bated breath to watch the government’s reaction to the TTD’s proposal.

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