Special Correspondent

KADAPA: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams will conduct about 15,000 marriages during the fourth phase of Kalyanamastu on November 2, as against 20,000 marriages performed in the previous three phases, TTD Chairman D.K. Adikesavulu said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an awareness meeting on the programme, he said that Tallapaka, the birth place of saint-lyricist Tallapaka Annamacharya, who rendered 32,000 keerthanas in praise of Lord Venkateswara, would be developed. He said that Sri Lakshmi Venkateswara Swamy temple at Devunikadapa, Sri Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy temple at Gandi and Sri Narapura Venkateswara Swamy temple at Jammalamadugu, which had been taken over by the TTD, would be developed.

Mr. Adikesavulu said that Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has approved plans to cover the entire Tirumala temple with gold plating and recalled that only the Vimana Gopuram in the temple was covered with gold as of now. TTD has taken up Rs. 300-crore project to provide drinking water supply to the religious places - Tirumala, Tirupati, Srikalahasti, Kanipakam, Tiruchanur and Kanipakam in Chittoor district. He promised disbursal of compensation to people of Tallapaka whose lands were acquired for construction of Venkateswara temple, theme park and 108-ft. Annamacharya statue

The TTD Chairman stressed the need to create public awareness and bring prospective couples to the Kalayanamastu programme. Besides giving new clothes, managalasutram, silver toe-rings and other material required for marriages and arranging lunch for the couple and their relatives, he promised free cellar darshanam in Tirumala temple to them. He appealed to MPs, MLAs and local body representatives to organise transport to those getting married in Kalyanamastu from their native villages to TTD Kalyana Mandapams.

TTD Executive Officer K.V. Ramanachari said prospective couples would enter wedlock between 10.55 and 11.10 a.m. on Karthika Suddha Panchami, Moola Nakshatram and Dhanur Lagnam on the day.

Collector M.T. Krishna Babu presided over the meet.