ANDHRA PRADESH

TTD in a fix over renovation of ‘Vakula Matha’ temple

After a brief lull, the row over the TTD’s reported move to renovate the dilapidated temple of ‘Vakula Matha’, said to be the foster mother of Lord Venkateswara, comes to the fore yet again.

As the Chairman of the TTD Trust Board, K. Bapi Raju, on Thursday visited the hill-top temple which is in ruins due to the ‘illegal quarrying’ of the granite blocks around. The people of the surrounding villages who largely depend on the hill for their livelihood have given vent to their grievance over the TTD’s renovation proposal.

In fact, the TTD is also under pressure from a section of the locals and the BJP to take up renovation and revive the daily rituals in the temple even as people of the surrounding villages resist it on the ground that it would deprive them of their livelihood.

What further complicated the situation to the TTD on the issue was Swamy Paripoornanda’s threat to launch a fast with his followers in Tirupati, protesting the delay in the TTD keeping its promise to renovate and revive the temple since the district administration had already handed over to it the concerned site to take up the work.

But the TTD is also in a kind of piquant situation in view of a petition reportedly filed in the court seeking directions to it not to go ahead with the project. The TTD is expected to file its counter to the petition in the next few days.

As the issue is mired in such a complex situation caught as it is in the pulls and cross-pulls from the pro and anti renovation groups, besides a court case, Mr. Bapi Raju also could not give any firm commitment to the villagers on their demand and urged them to wait till the outcome of the court case.