De-commercialisation of mutts at Tirumala suggested
If suggestions from a wide spectrum of audience were what the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) expected at its seminar on ‘Perspectives of Darshan at Tirumala temple' here on Saturday, the response was indeed overwhelming.
The technical session dwelt on introducing a ‘moving platform' to ease congestion, in which technocrats and representatives of a few companies made presentations on how the system could effectively translate into faster and ‘touch-free' movement of devotees.
At the session of media representatives, S. Nagesh Kumar, Deputy Editor of The Hindu, Hyderabad, felt that the temple had already been tampered with to a great extent and cried halt to the suggestions of making new exit points to facilitate free movement.
He termed as abominable the demolition of the heritage structure ‘Veyyikalla Mandapam' at Tirumala citing congestion and felt that the administrators could have given a little thought.
He felt the conveyor belt could be given a try first in the queue complex, only if it was found to solve the problem and also met the ‘Agamic' conditions.
On the proposal to develop a pilgrim hub downhill, Vijaya Babu, Editor, Andhra Prabha felt that regulated entry of pilgrims to Tirumala could provide an answer. He also seconded the idea of documenting plans for the next 20 years.
Prema, senior journalist with TV9, suggested re-interpretation of Agama Sastras to suit the changing needs of the day. Seeking introduction of a third queue line, Satyanarayana, News Head of Gemini TV, urged the officials to sit with pundits and find solutions to issues long relegated to cold storage, instead of hiding behind the ‘inviolable Agama Sastras'.
M.V. Soundararajan of Chilkur Balaji temple wanted de-commercialisation of Mutts at Tirumala and development of Venkateswara temples in villages. A.V. Dharma Reddy, formerly Special Officer at Tirumala, felt that having a new entrance ‘Netra Dwaram' could provide darshan to 1.5 lakh pilgrims a day.
The situation turned tense when a section of TTD employees locked horns with media personnel.
The employees called the mission by some channels to cleanse Tirumala of corrupt people as yet another media attempt to sensationalise trivia, while the scribes insisted that their intention to protect the TTD's interest was as good as that of the employees.