TIRUMALA: To ensure social distancing at Lord Venkateswara temple, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has started using eZy Distance Calculator. Around 20 CCTV cameras will be linked with this app. Simply put, the software will be loaded into the surveillance system which would do the calculations and give alerts so that the officials can manage the crowd and also ensure maintenance of social distance norms. The software detects the spots where there is overcrowding and alerts officials in case of any deviations.
With 1,700 CCTV cameras installed at all strategic locations in Tirumala, the TTD is able to regulate the flow of devotees. All these cameras are connected to the command control room. Some of the IT initiatives taken by the TTD include face recognition software to detect movement of offenders through 21 cameras. Zone Intrusion software with 38 cameras to spot wild animals. These cameras are installed at all entry points and forest pathways. Vehicle count-number identification software with speed gun installed at Alipiri and GNC toll gates.
Through this software, vehicular traffic will be monitored. Another IT application which is in use is smoke and fire alarm. The TTD officials have put in place strict precautionary measures like wearing of masks and maintaining social distance. The devotees were being allowed to proceed towards hill shrine after their thermal screening at Alipiri checkpoint.
As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prescribed by the government, every devotee must wear a face mask and maintain six feet distance with the other. Citizens above 65 years, children below 10 years, pregnant women and devotees from containment zones are not allowed into the hill shrine. Meanwhile, thanks to the anti-Coronavirus measures in place, devotees are able to have a leisurely darshan at Tirumala.
“I never had such a peaceful darshan in the last one decade. Usually, we worship the Lord amidst heavy crowds, but today’s darshan was completely different and we felt like we were having a VIP break darshan,” a devotee said. “Starting from the Alipiri check point to entering the queue lines, inside the sanctum sanctorum, the anna prasadam complex and laddu counters, TTD took all precautions and followed Covid guidelines. It is now the turn of all of us (pilgrims) to cooperate and ensure that we follow the guidelines,” he added.
No more waiting in queue lines
The temple management made elaborate arrangements for devotees, right from their arrival at Alipiri till the completion of the pilgrimage
With social distancing practices and other guidelines, no devotee had to wait in the outside queue lines or in the compartments at the Vaikuntam queue complex. They could directly walk into the queue lines and have darshan
A TTD official said, “We worked day and night to come out with a pucca plan and executed it with perfection with the teamwork of all departments both at Tirumala and in Tirupati.”
A temperature check is conducted before the devotees walk up the road leading to the temple
Masks and gloves made mandatory for all temple staff
Barbers in PPE overalls wait for devotees who wish to offer their hair to the deity