Tirupati: Devotees return disappointed as tokens exhausted within hours
To begin with, only people from Chittoor district were allowed for the free darshan tokens, as precautionary measure to avoid people from other places including neighbouring districts congregating in big number
Tirupati: Devotees turned out in big numbers to avail the `Time Slotted Sarva Darshan' (SSD) tokens for free darshan in Tirumala temple, which began after a gap of five months here on Wednesday.
People reached Srinivasam pilgrim amenities, near APSRTC Central Bus Station well ahead of the issuing of the tokens which commenced at 6 in the morning. Men and women with children were seen patiently standing in the long queue, waiting for their turn to get the token for free darshan.
The issuing of the tokens was suspended in April second week this year due to the second wave of Covid pandemic which turned more severe in the pilgrim city to avoid the spread of deadly virus due to congregation people from various states to avail the free darshan tokens which was issued across the counter on daily basis. However, the TTD for the sake of devotees continued darshan on payment basis.
As the TTD decided to start the issuing of the tokens on a trial basis with only 2000 tokens daily for darshan of the Lord, the tokens were exhausted within a few hours, resulting in many returned disappointed.
To begin with, only people from Chittoor district were allowed for the free darshan tokens, as precautionary measure to avoid people from other places including neighbouring districts congregating in big number.
Sujatha, a resident of Korlagunta in the city who could not get the token today appealed to TTD to increase the number of tokens being issued daily to 5000 for the sake of common devotee, pointing that TTD is allowing more than 20,000 daily under various categories like Rs 300 special entry ticket, Arjitha Sevas, Srivani Trust break darshan on payment of Rs 10500 for each etc.
However, a local Yashvanth Reddy was happy as he could avail the SSD token and thanked TTD for resuming the free darshan. ``Anticipating a big rush, as it was the first day that the SSD tokens were being resumed, I came several hours before to Srinivasam and was lucky to get the token for darshan.
TTD on its part made elaborate arrangements ensuring Covid protocol at the counters in the massive Srinivasam complex and also deployed its staff to regulate the crowd and maintain distance.