VIJAYAWADA: Kanaka Durga temple officials have recently written to Irrigation and R&B Departments seeking allocation of at least four acres of land on the banks of Krishna river for the construction of a permanent tonsure hall.According to the officials, the tonsure hall previously functioned at Durga Ghat on the banks of the river. In 2015, the structure was demolished for the Kanaka Durga flyover works. Since then, the facility has been functioning at Arundel Satram. Lack of amenities allowed only 57 devotees to offer their hair at a time.
“The situation gets worse during the nine-day Dasara festivities and Bhavani Deeksha relinquishment as thousands of devotees throng the hill shrine. As a temporary arrangement, a tonsure hall is arranged near Seethammavari Padalu near the eastern main canal,” they said.“We have designed a proposal for a G+2 building that can accommodate at least 200 to 250 devotees at a time,” temple executive engineer (EE) D Bhaskar said. In January, the State government sanctioned Rs 70 crore for Durga temple development. Of the total, Rs 23.60 crore is likely to be used on the permanent building that will house the tonsure hall.
“The design is such that it can also survive if there is floods in Krishna. The devotees can have a dip in the river after offering their hair to the goddess. The ghat maintenance and devotees’ protection will be taken care of by the devasthanam, which will also develop a parking facility to avoid traffic snarls near Durga Ghat. Besides, there is another proposal for an under bridge to connect the tonsure hall with temple ghat road,” he added.