Padmavathi Nilayam proves to be a bane for APTDC
- It takes the facility on annual lease basis from TTD
- Within 20 days of its inauguration it became a Covid quarantine centre in March 2020
- After resuming operations again in February, now they have to come out of it as it is becoming Covid care centre again
Tirupati: Taking Sri Padmavathi Nilayam on lease has proved to be a bane for the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). The APTDC stepped in and took Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams' Sri Padmavathi Nilayam on lease at a time when no one was coming forward to utilise the facility which was constructed at a cost of Rs 75 crore in a sprawling 5.36 acres at Daminedu near Tiruchanoor. The only condition APTDC had put was that the responsibility of maintenance of the building should be taken up by the TTD. Though initially, the TTD was reluctant, it agreed to do so and it was decided that the APTDC would pay Rs 1 crore as rent per annum for the building.
The APTDC felt that this would help them save Rs 40 crore on providing accommodation to its daily package tour tourists. The APTDC has been spending about Rs 1.4 crore on account of providing accommodation. The Corporation vacated its office located at Sri Devi complex and shifted to Padmavathi Nilayam.
But, within 20 days of the inauguration of the building by TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy during March 2020, APTDC had become the victim of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was asked to vacate the complex and hand it over to district administration to convert it into Covid quarantine centre. After providing Covid services for almost 10 months, it was handed back to the APTDC around the end of January this year.
The APTDC had to spend a few lakhs of rupees to change all bed sheets and other material and sanitise the entire complex to make it ready for its tourists in mid-February.
Now, with the spike in Covid positive cases in the district, once again and the government's decision to convert Padmavathi Nilayam as an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients, the district administration has taken over the building. As a result, the APTDC does not even have an office in Tirupati.
When The Hans India tried to contact APTDC no official was available to comment on this issue. However, the authorities have decided to open a 800-1000 bed quarantine centre at Padmavathi Nilayam.
Nearly 1,000 beds will be provided at SVIMS and Ruia hospitals. Chittoor will have 400 beds. Meanwhile, hospitals in Madanapalle, Kuppam and other places have begun admitting Covid-19 patients.