TTD Stock – Devotees protest issue of darshan tickets for later dates
TIRUPATI: Tirumala-bound devotees staged a protest for a brief while at the ticket issuing counters in Vishnu Nivasam complex here on Sunday, denouncing issuance of darshan tokens by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in advance for darshan on December 22, 23 and 24.
A group of devotees, who had queued up at the ticket issuing counter, expressed unhappiness when they received darshan tickets for 24th of this month. They questioned TTD staff why they have not been given darshan tickets for at least Monday or Tuesday.
Counter staff informed devotees that sarva darshan tickets quota for the next three days has already been exhausted. Because of this, they could issue free darshan tickets only for December 24. Unhappy with TTD staff’s reply, devotees entered into heated arguments with devasthanams’ staff and later staged a protest, raising slogans against TTD.
Following this, TTD vigilance and security wing personnel, apart from police, rushed to the spot and pacified devotees. Later, authorities also increased the sarva darshan quota by 3,000 tickets to facilitate darshan for some protesting devotees within the Monday slot. However, those who got the darshan slot for December 24 were not given any advancement.
Following this, these devotees, who had come from far off places with families, were left fuming. “TTD has issued us darshan tickets for December 24. How can we afford to stay in Tirupati for three days? It is the responsibility of devasthanams to provide us a trouble-free darshan. The problem is TTD neglects common devotees”, they retorted.
Officials have maintained that TTD administration has repeatedly been announcing that they can only facilitate darshan of 30,000–35,000 devotees a day due to prevailing Covid-19 restrictions. They have also been requesting devotees to make advance reservations for darshan before reaching Tirumala due to restrictions because of Coronavirus.
Officials lamented that some pilgrims are continuing to arrive at Tirupati without any advance bookings.