Special Correspondent

For building wall panelling inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple

TTD Board decides to renovate Silver Threshold in the temple at a cost of Rs. 2 crores

To set up a sophisticated eye care centre in its super specialities hospital

TIRUPATI: Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has proposed to buy gold from the Minerals and Metals Trading Crporation (MMTC) to meet the requirements of an ambitious programme of constructing gold wall panelling inside the sanctum sanctorum in the temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.

The work christened as ‘Anantha Swarnamayam’ envisages fitting the interior walls of the sanctum with embellished gold panels to give an aesthetic touch to the ambience.

The TTD Trust Board, which met at Tirumala on Saturday, with its chairman D.K. Adikesavulu in the chair reviewed the ‘Swarnamayam’ work, which is fast apace and noted that the TTD has already netted about 44 kgs of gold and Rs. 2 crore cash as donation towards the massive scheme from philanthropists.

In this context, it was decided that there was a need for more gold, which would be procured from the MMTC with the approval of the Government of India. A high security workshop has been set up inside the TTD’s Museum Complex at Tirumala to chisel the ornamental golden sheets to be mounted on wooden panels.

The Board at its meeting today also has decided to renovate the Silver Threshold (Vendi Vakili) in the Tirumala temple at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crore. Similarly, a permanent mandapam would be constructed on the sprawling Narayanagiri gardens on the hills that besides serving as the venue for the annual ‘Padmavathi Parinayam’ festival would also serve as a shelter to pilgrims when it rain. Philanthropists have already come forward to take up the holy task, Adikesavulu said while addressing the media persons after the meeting.

He said the TTD would set up a sophisticated Eye Care Centre in its super specialities hospital—SVIMS in Tirupati and would take the help of the famous Chennai-based Eye Hospital, Sankara Nethralaya, to work out the modalities. The TTD’s BIRRD hospital meant for the physically challenged is being strengthened by posting of eight residential medical officers.

Adikesavulu asserted that there was no question of the TTD suspending the ‘Kalyanamasthu’ (free marriage programme) and so also the ‘Bhajagovindam’ -- mass prayer programme-- being conducted in different parts of the State and outside.

TTD Executive Officer K.V. Ramanachary was also present.