Collections down despite rush

Collections down despite rush
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Demonetisation which hit many sections did not spare even Lord Venkateswara. Though, Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara witnessed heavy rush of pilgrims this year summer, the Hundi offering showed a decline compared to same period in the last year.

Tirupati: Demonetisation which hit many sections did not spare even Lord Venkateswara. Though, Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara witnessed heavy rush of pilgrims this year summer, the Hundi offering showed a decline compared to same period in the last year.

Pilgrims increase by 10 per cent this summer, while hundi offerings reduce by Rs 6 crore
About 41.03 lakh pilgrims had darshan this year from April 27 to June 13 as against 37.52 lakh pilgrims from April 24 to June 10 last summer, registering ten per cent jump in the number of pilgrims. However, the hundi offerings in the famed shrine recorded Rs 122 crore this summer as against Rs 128 crore last year, a decline of Rs six crore hinting the impact of demonetisation.

Speaking to media on the summer rush and the steps being taken up by TTD administration to cope with increased pilgrim influx, in Tirumala on Thursday, TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal disclosed that the hundi offerings during the summer was less than last summer. He said that there was a big jump in TTD services to the devotees visiting Tirumala and for those waiting in queue lines for darshan. He said that TTD sold over 1,00,94,899 laddus the most sought after prasadam this year which is the highest so far in summer while 97 lakhs were sold during last summer.

“The distribution of beverages like coffee, buttermilk, milk etc. free distribution increased by 34.7 per cent and nnaprasadam by 24 per cent. The occupancy ratio of rooms also increased by 2 per cent,” he informed.Stating that the officers and staff in Tirumala worked daily 16-18 hours in the summer to ensure orderly movement of pilgrims, proper queue management inside the temple and outside in the queue complexes, provide hassle free darshan, Singhal lauded them for their untiring service for the devotees and also the Srivari Sevakulu volunteers for their exemplary service to the devotees.

He said the recent changes of in and out system made at Vendi Vakili is yielding positive results as majority of pilgrims are expressing happiness over the amendment. “There is need to bring awareness among the pilgrims about the importance of Aadhaar and the media should also give wide publicity on it. Making Aadhaar mandatory will enhance transparency in rooms, darshan and allotment of other privileges. I urge you all to give wide publicity,” he said informing that for availing many service in Tirumala TTD made Aadhaar mandatory.

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