The proposal made by the police that devotees proceeding to Tirumala on October 1 (Garuda Seva day) have to secure vehicle passes has come under strong criticism.
The police on Thursday said that devotees motoring up to Tirumala for ‘Garuda Seva’ should avail vehicle passes at specified locations. The decision was a part of vehicular traffic management, the police said, and added that passes would be issued from 6 a.m. free of cost.
While devotees coming from Kadapa can avail of the passes at Kesavareddy High School in Kukkala Doddi and Annamacharya Engineering College on Karakkambadi Road, those arriving from Nellore can obtain them at Sri Engineering College in Yerpedu. Those arriving by the Chennai route can secure the passes at Agasthya Enclave, near Vadamalapeta toll plaza. Passes will be issued at the agricultural lands at Ithepalli for those coming from Chittoor and at Sri Vidyaniketan Engineering College for those reaching along the Madanapalli route.
People of Tirupati can secure the passes at Bharatiya Bhavan, Devalok, near Zoo Park, and SV and Annamacharya engineering colleges on Karakkambadi Road.
The police have reiterated that the 48-hour ban on plying of two-wheelers on the ghat roads on the festival day is also a part of traffic management.
Questioning the rationale behind the decision, a few devotees said it would only add to the predicaments of the pilgrims reaching the town from far and near.
“The TTD has a sprawling toll plaza at Alipiri, which can be used to record the number of vehicles motoring up by effecting the required modifications to the software. Instead, it is forcing the pilgrims to go in search of establishments at unfamiliar places,” the devotees rued.
As the decision to issue passes has been taken only a couple of days ago, the message will not reach all vehicle owners and cab drivers, they said..