Spate of complaints over lack of proper arrangements
Ratha Saptami celebration was marred by unruly behaviour of policemen at the Suryanarayana Swami temple on Thursday. Thousands of devotees came from different parts of the State to have ‘Nijarupa darshan' of Suryanarayana swami with much difficulty on the occasion of Surya Jayanti, Ratha Saptami. Arrangements made by the temple authorities went haywire as in the absence of proper guidance devotees struggled to identify queues meant for free darshan and Rs. 25 ticket. Interestingly, the devotees who purchased Rs. 100 tickets could get darshan of the Lord easily but ticket holders of ‘Ksheerabhisheka Seva' were forced to wait for a long time.
Several devotees objected to introduction of Rs. 100 tickets, saying that the temple authorities had given priority to enhance revenue ignoring the burden on the devotees. Many devotees complained that quality of laddu was not up to the mark this year. There were no proper arrangements at the exit gate, causing trouble for many devotes while coming out from the temple.
Moreover, the police department has not relaxed rules even in the evening. “I did not find any difficulty in queue line. But it was horrible to walk for a long distance to reach the main road. The temple authorities should have taken extra care for hassle free darshan,” said Satya who came from Pydibhimavaram mandal.
Several devotees were seen arguing with the police personnel over the poor arrangements at the exit gate which was very narrow, preventing free movement of people coming out from the temple. They were also forced to walk almost one km to get back their luggage kept in the vicinity of the temple. A police official allegedly manhandled cameraman of a TV channel, leading to a heated argument between police and media personnel in the early hours of Thursday. Earlier, VVIPs including Ministers Dharmana Prasada Rao, Botcha Satyanarayana, Balaraju, Srikakulam MP Killi Kruparani and others had ‘Nijarupa darshan.' Executive Officer of the temple N. Mutyala Rao and chief priest Ippili Shankar Sarma coordinated the arrangements.