The Alipiri footpath leading to the sacred hill town of Lord Venkateswara is all set to acquire a refreshing look with the TTD resolving to take up restoration and beautification works along the trekking route.
The footpath, which commences at Alipiri in Tirupati, is 9-km long and has over 3,550 steps and is preferred by a majority of the trekking pilgrims. Over 30,000 pilgrims frequent along the pathway on an average every day.
It was around late seventies and early eighties that the renovation works for the last time were undertaken on the footpath.
An overhead roof was constructed all along the pathway to protect the devotees from the extreme seasonal climatic conditions besides undertaking refurbishment of the granite steps.
But with the lapse of over four decades, the open structure has suffered corrosions at several places giving anxious moments to the officials.
The footpath is also dotted with several ancient structures like Padala mandapam, Pedda gopuram, Gali gopuram, temples of Lord Lakshmi Narayana Swamy, Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Thova Bhasyakarlu besides the towering statue of Lord Hanuman.
It is against this backdrop that the TTD has resolved to take up restoration works at a whopping cost of ₹30 crore.
According to the proposed plan, a new overhead shelter roof will be constructed in addition to uniform toilets and side-sitting platforms (to enable the trekking pilgrims take rest) besides augmenting the supply of drinking water all along the route.
Reliance Industries has expressed its willingness to shoulder the entire cost of the project.
A team of experts deputed by the Reliance management also reached Tirumala on Saturday and closeted with TTD Special Officer A.V. Dharma Reddy (who played an instrumental role in persuading the industrial giant to bear the cost) and discussed the modalities to be worked out in the execution of the project.