Hit by water scarcity, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has cancelled the allotment of cottages to pilgrims. The pilgrims who booked rooms earlier, are being provided accommodation at places where there is water supply. The supply of water to many areas at Tirumala was disrupted in the wee hours of Wednesday. The TTD deployed 50 tankers to supply water from Papavinasanam dam. As the tankers could not meet the demand, the TTD was forced to cancel the booking of cottages.
The devotees who arrived at Tirumala had a tough time as there was no water for them even to take a bath. Many pilgrims returned without having darshan of Lord Venkateswara.
Unable to cope with the situation, the TTD cancelled about 70 per cent of cottage bookings in Saptagiri pilgrim amenities complex, which has 1,000 rooms. The booking of cottages at Shanku Mitta and Hill View was also cancelled.
Due to prolonged dry spell, the Papavinasanam and Gogarbham dams have almost dried up resulting in severe water scarcity on the hill shrine. As clearances from the forest department are awaited to lay a 1.5 km pipeline, the TTD water works department cannot supply water from Kumaradhara and Pasupudhara twin dams located in the upper reaches of Papavinasanam dam from where water flows down to Gogarbham dam. The TTD draws water from Gogarbham dam to supply it to the temple and cottages. At present, water from the twin dams reaches Papavinasanam dam through a canal. In the process, a huge quantum of water is going waste. The existing pipeline from the Papavinasanam dam to the temple is not able to meet its water needs fully. The water works department is often forced to deploy 50 to 60 tankers to get water from the Papavinasanam dam to the temple and cottages.
The water problem on the hill shrine is getting worse day by day due to the prolonged dry spell. It has become a normal phenomenon with the steady increase in the inflow of pilgrims every year.