Balaji Temple in Tirumala to open for trial run from 8 June; only TTD staff and locals allowed during experimental phase

The Balaji Temple in Tirumala will open only on an ‘experimental’ basis to locals and employees of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages its administration

FP Trending June 05, 2020 17:40:23 IST
Balaji Temple in Tirumala to open for trial run from 8 June; only TTD staff and locals allowed during experimental phase

The Andhra Pradesh government has given its nod to the re-opening of the Balaji Temple in Tirumala from 8 June. However, the temple will open only on an ‘experimental’ basis to locals and employees of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages its administration.

The TTD got the permission after a request was made by its executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal for holding a trial run for the temple’s administration employees and locals.

Balaji Temple in Tirumala to open for trial run from 8 June only TTD staff and locals allowed during experimental phase

A file image of the Balaji Temple in Tirumala. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The order, which was issued by special chief secretary (endowments) JSV Prasad to the TTD, said, "Only a limited number of people would be allowed at a time, duly maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet between persons at all times and all points."

The temple was closed on 19 March in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to The Hindu, the TTD sought permission to study the crowd behaviour and inadequacies, if any, in implementing the health advisories issued by the Union Home Ministry to prevent the spread of coronavirus .

The Balaji Temple administration has drawn circles along the darshan lines so that a distance of 10 feet between the devotees can be maintained. It initially plans to keep the number of devotees in the range of 7,000 to 10,000 per day.

To make sure that people visiting the temple follow physical distancing norms, a zig-zag model of queue lines with protruding steel rods on both sides has been adopted.

The temple had witnessed a decrease in the number of devotees before it was shut down for general public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The daily footfall had dwindled from 75,000-80,000 to about 45,000, reported The Hindu BusinessLine.

Authorities of Sri Venkateswara temple had earlier decided to sell 'Tirupati laddu prasadam' among devotees at 50 percent discount in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and all district headquarters in Andhra Pradesh during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

The decision was taken by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) in the view of the uncertainty over the resumption of darshan at the Sri Venkateswara temple.

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