Low pilgrim turnout ‘surprising’
Low pilgrim turnout ‘surprising’, TTD, Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam. Due to the poor flow of passengers, the TTD issued tokens on the footpaths till late night so as to reach the target, anticipating heavy rush
Tirumala: Surprisingly, flow of pilgrims on the eve of New Year for ‘darshan’ was much less than the TTD anticipated. Fewer crowds were present on Tuesday on the two foot roads and at the second queue complex. Only 9,000 tokens were issued till 5.30 pm on Tuesday to pilgrims trekking on January 1. They included both foot roads, Tirupati-Tirumala and Srivarimettu-Tirumala, against 25,000 planned by TTD.
Due to the poor flow of passengers, the TTD issued tokens on the footpaths till late night so as to reach the target, anticipating heavy rush. At the second queue complex, there were fewer pilgrims unlike on the same day last year when there was a near-stampede and a dharna. They were seen leisurely walking. The TTD had decided to provide ‘darshan’ only for 50,000 pilgrims, including 25,000 trekkers, and the rest through the second queue complex, to avoid congestion/untoward incidents. According to reports, issue of over 5,000 VIP passes and TTD ‘restrictions’ deterred them.