Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) has denied rumours on Whatsapp saying that the temple of Lord Venkateswara was closed due to heavy rains lasting over a week.
The Whatsapp message that is going viral showed the pictures of the flooded temple routes and already closed bus stand railway station have added confusion to the rumour that the temple was also closed. The temple is rarely closed, except for few hours after eclipse.
TTD, meanwhile, is making arrangements to supply free food to stranded pilgrims in the town and on the hill as rains lashed the hills for the seventh day in row. The rainfall recorded so far is about 1049 mm as against the average of 300 mm of rainfall recorded every year in the month of November.
Officials have lifted the gates of the dams — Kumaradhara and Pasupudhara, Papavinasanam, Gogarbham and Akasaganga. The TTD has given an advisory to devotees not to bring children and elderly people to the prilgrimage.
Due to landslides, the traffic has been diverted via the link road, but fresh landslides on the 11th KM on the second ghat road has stalled the traffic for hours together during the weekend. For those planning to go on foot, the footpaths have been gushing with water, turning dangerous to women and childre.
Down the hill, flood water has entered several houses affecting people in low-lying areas of Pulavanikunta, Autonagar, Yashoda Nagar, Navodaya Colony, S.V. Nagar among others. Even Govindarajaswamy second choulty was flooded with occupants being shifted to rehabilitation centres opened up in local schools and function halls.
District Collector Siddharth Jain held a teleconference with officials from revenue, irrigation, municipality, animal husbandry, electricity, agriculture department, to coordinate releif works and deputed officials to supervise rehabilitation works in the surrounding areas of Tirupathi.
MCT Commissioner V. Vinay Chand and his team visited lying areas in the temple city such as Autonagar, Gollavanigunta, Krishna Reddy Nagar and Poolavanigunta to assess the damage and undertake relief measures.
Unseasonal rain at Tirupathi submerged part of the temple. pic.twitter.com/7sWjFWdZ4D
— S.Vasudeva Murthy (@svmurthy) November 22, 2015
— APHerald (@APHerald) November 20, 2015