TTD to stop issuing SSD tokens on Sunday, Monday

Devotes sleeping in queue line at Bhudevi complex in Tirupati

Devotes sleeping in queue line at Bhudevi complex in Tirupati 


There will be no issuing of 'Time Slotted Sarva Darshan (SSD) tokens on Sunday and Monday.

Tirupati: There will be no issuing of 'Time Slotted Sarva Darshan (SSD) tokens on Sunday and Monday. The issuing of SSD tokens will resume on Tuesday afternoon with the time slot for darshan on Wednesday (April 13). The unprecedented influx of pilgrims and the subsequent waiting time for SSD token holders for darshan extending to three days, the TTD management decided to stop issuing the tokens temporarily for two days. The pilgrim rush which started soaring on Friday, reached its peak on Saturday leading to a long queue of pilgrims waiting at the counters where the SSD tokens are issued in three centres in the city. At Srinivasam pilgrim complex, the staff in order to control the surging crowd, closed the gates after the main hall where the counters were located, choked with pilgrims waiting for the tokens and they were allowed in batches for availing the tokens.

While at Bhudevi complex, the pilgrims faced difficulty as there was no facility for drinking water for the pilgrims standing in the queue lines. The pilgrims, who arrived last night for the tokens, slept in the queue line itself and in surrounding places after the issuing was stopped last night which was resumed early in the morning. As the waiting time for darshan extended for three days, most pilgrims, who availed the tokens were forced to stay in railway station, bus stand and in open places at the TTD pilgrim complexes as the complexes were full to the brim. TTD allows pilgrims only 24 hours before the darshan time to Tirumala, the pilgrims more so the common pilgrims, who could not afford private accommodation have no other choice but stay in Tirupati, down the hills itself wherever they could find some place to rest with their families. However, TTD in a laudable gesture increased the daily quota of SSD tokens to 40,000 for darshan on Monday and Tuesday much to the relief of devotees and bringing the pilgrim crowd at the SSD counters issuing tokens for darshan on Tuesday (April 12), to normal level by the evening of Saturday.

Meanwhile, many pilgrims appealed to TTD officials to look into the plight of pilgrims waiting for tokens and make arrangements to provide basic facilities like drinking water. They also wanted the TTD management to depute senior officials at the centres, particularly on weekends to ensure proper crowd management to avoid inconvenience to devotees more so the women, children and aged and required facilities like drinking water and food.

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