VIJAYAWADA: Nearly 75 days after closing the Srivari temple for darshan to devotees in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is all set to allow darshan of Lord Venkateswara for devotees after June 11. But before this, the TTD will conduct trial runs with its employees maintaining physical distancing, and has the State government’s permission for the same.
The TTD queues will be modified and the number of devotees limited. “We will conduct trial runs on June 8 and 9, and if necessary, on June 11, with TTD employees, security staff, and Trust Board members, and assess how quickly darshan can be provided,” TTD Trust Board chairman YV Subba Reddy said.
Darshan — sarva darshan or those who buy tickets — will be allowed only for those who book slots online. However, for people from rural areas and those who are unable to book online, an online registration centre will be opened at Alipiri, Subba Reddy said.
“Devotees should follow physical distancing norms. They will have to wear masks and use sanitiser every 30 minutes. We are installing automatic sanitisers,” he added, and said people should avoid touching the ropes and rods as much as possible, and maintain a gap of 5-6 feet between each other.
All devotees and staff will be screened on entry at the Alipiri checkpost. For those who trek, tests will be conducted at the entrance, and they can book slots either at Alipiri or after reaching Tirumala. Those who are ill won’t be allowed to proceed.
Subba Reddy also appealed to people from containment zones not to visit Tirumala. “Devotees presuming they are not infected could pose a risk. At a time, 10,000-20,000 people will be in Tirumala, and it would be risky for such people to enter,” he said.
Decision on ‘laghu’ darshan after trial run
Subba Reddy added that no one will be allowed into the Pushkarini (koneru) for a bath. Separate taps will be available for bathing, and social distancing will be implemented at the Annaprasadam complex. Devotee won’t be allowed to participate in Seva (voluntary) activities.
On VVIP and other darshans, Subba Reddy said VIP darshans and break darshans will be allowed depending on the situation, and only one-and-a-half hours will be allocated for this. On ‘laghu’ darshanams to all the devotees, Subba Reddy said a decision will be taken after the trial runs. TTD EO Anil Kumar Singhal on May 12 sought the government’s permission to resume darshan on a trial basis with local people and TTD employees. Special Secretary to the Government, Revenue (Endowments) JSV Prasad gave the TTD EO permission to conduct a trial run with the TTD employees and locals, with limited number of people and with physical distancing being practised.