Average daily collection down by at least 30 per cent since Telangana stir started

The ongoing protests in Andhra Pradesh against the formation of Telangana as a separate State have taken a toll on the revenue of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD). According to official sources, the average daily collection has dropped by at least 30 per cent. Besides other steps to restore normality, TTD authorities were negotiating with transport workers’ unions to ensure normal bus operations.

“The series of agitations in Tirupathi, Chithoor and adjoining areas on the Telangana issue has affected the inflow of pilgrims. The number of State-owned buses operated from the foothill to Tirumala has come down from 350 to just 60 per day. The average daily collection has dropped from Rs. 2.25 crore to Rs. 1.5 crore or so…,” TTD Board Trustee N. Kanniah told The Hindu here on Thursday.

The agitations had no impact on routine activities in Tirumala.

The news of protests and lack of adequate transport facilities had discouraged pilgrims from visiting the abode of Lord Sri Venkateswara.

“The average number of pilgrims during weekend has dropped from 90,000 to 68,000. The TTD is making all efforts to restore normal bus operations. There is no bar on private vehicles from entering Tirumala…adequate security arrangements are in place to prevent any untoward incident.”

Mr. Kanniah said that representatives of political parties or groups involved in the Samaikya Andhra agitations had assured the TTD authorities that they would not disrupt normality in the hill.

The famous Tirupathi laddu is being enriched with more of cashew nuts, raisins and cardamom.

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