Rain clouds WTC preparations

Special Correspondent
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Question mark hangs over Avilala venue; Kiran to take a call today

A question mark now hangs on whether Avilala grounds in Tirupati will be retained as the venue for the World Telugu Conference (WTC) -- beginning December 27 -- following torrential rains at a time when work on the arrangements is reaching a feverish pitch.

There was knee-deep water in the ground triggered by the North-East monsoon which remained “vigorous” over Rayalaseema.

A layer of slush was formed, ruling out the possibility of undertaking any work until the water drains out from Avilala, a unique ground spread over 90 acres.

The downpour was such that Gudur which lies close to Tirupati received a 27 cm rainfall cm and Tirupati itself 7 cm. Rapur recorded 17 cm, Tada 12 cm and Nellore 11 cm. The Swarnamukhi and Kaivalya rivers and Pamula Kalva in Nellore area were in spate.

A forecast by India Meteorological Department about further heavy rains in the area has come as a dampener to the officials.

A decision on whether to shift the venue to an alternative site is expected to be taken by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy after reviewing the situation on Thursday.

As part of the arrangements, nearly 4,500 rooms are being readied for delegates, 800 of them offered by Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams.

Hoteliers in Tirupati have offered to earmark 60 per cent of their accommodation, over 3,000 rooms, on 10 to 15 per cent discount.

Nearly 3,000 delegates from all over the world have registered themselves online or by post.

T. Gourishankar, coordinator, WTC, said if necessary, all-facility tents would be raised like at international conferences.

Arrangements are being made to operate special trains from Hyderabad and Vijayawada to Tirupati before and during the three-day conference and RTC services within Tirupati area and from different places in the State.

54 folk arts on display

As many as 54 Telugu folk arts ranging from Tappeta Gullu of Srikakulam and Dappulu of Krishna-Guntur to Guravayyalu of Kurnool and Bonanu of Telangana have been identified for display during the WTC inaugural procession.

  • 3,000 delegates from all over the world have registered; nearly 4,500 rooms are being readied

  • Special trains will be operated from Hyderabad and Vijayawada to Tirupati

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