Shortage of camphor on the sacred Tirumala Hills is causing inconvenience to the pilgrims, forcing them to offer prayers at the Akhilandam without lighting camphor.
For the past eight days, the pilgrims are not being provided with camphor in the pooja materials packets being sold by the nationalised banks. Hitherto, these packets contained camphor too along with a coconut, incense sticks, flowers, etc. The banks are charging the same amount for these packets as hitherto even though there is no camphor in them now. If any pilgrim insists on camphor, he/she is not even given the pooja materials packet.
Despite complaints from the pilgrims, the officials have not taken any steps.
“This is not the first time that such a situation has cropped up. At least four to five times earlier, a similar situation arose and we have to face the wrath of the pilgrims,’’ a bank staffer said. “Whenever we seek camphor, the bank officials say that the stock is on the way. We are getting the same answer for the past eight days,’’ he added.
“We are forced to offer prayers without even lighting camphor. This is due to the negligence of the authorities,’’ Bhanu Murthy, a pilgrim, said.