Andhra Pradesh

Second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has its impact felt on Tirumala

The rapid surge in the increase of COVID-19 infections across the country had its ‘echo’ felt at the temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala with the TTD further tightening restrictions in the darshan of the presiding deity.

Unmindful of the adverse impact the restrictions shall have on the hundi income, the TTD slashed the issuance of sarva darshan tokens to 15,000 from 30,000 a day during the last week of March and further imposed a complete ban on its issuance from April 12 .

The hundi income which hovered around ₹3 crore a day till recently is now vacillating around ₹2 crore after the enforcement of the limitations.

The TTD has already imposed restrictions in permitting the pilgrims to Tirumala. Pilgrims with valid darshan tokens are alone allowed to motor up to the town. They can either motor up on the same day or a day in advance any time after 1.00 pm.

Similarly, those trekking up along the footpaths can trek either on the same day or a day in advance after 9.00 am subject to their convenience. The initiatives were taken with a serene intention to avoid congregation of more number of pilgrims atop the town at any given point of time.

With the positive cases crossing 2.5 lakh a day in the country, speculations are rife that TTD may impose restrictions even in the issuance of ₹300 special entry darshan tickets which at present are issued around 30,000 a day.

However a decision is likely to be taken when the darshan tickets quota for the month of May will be released soon.

The TTD Executive officer K.S. Jawahar reddy looks determined not to repeat the mistakes committed last year when the hill temple was kept out of bounds for the pilgrims for over 80 days when the COVID-19 first struck the country.

It is for this reason that Mr. Reddy who had efficiently handled the spread of virus in his capacity as the then Principal Secretary of Medical and Health temporarily stayed the proposal of permitting devotees in arjitha sevas performed inside the hill temple.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:29:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/second-wave-of-covid-19-pandemic-has-its-impact-felt-on-tirumala/article34357729.ece

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