Tirumala: Acute water crisis resurfaced in the holy abode of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. With the monsoon playing truant and water bodies literally drying up atop the hill shrine, the temple administration is finding itself in some serious spot of bother.
While the daily pilgrim rush to Tirumala ranges anywhere between 55,000 to 70,000 the daily requirement of water to meet the needs of the visiting devotees is anywhere close to 28 lakh gallons on a lean day and close to 40 lakh gallons when the rush is heavy.
While this is the requirement of the hill shrine on a day-to-day basis, the water levels in Papavinasam, Gogarbham, Kumaradhara-Pasupudhara twin dams and Akasa Ganga is a cause of concern for Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam officials. According to sources in the TTD, the present water situation in the various dams at Tirumala is — Papavinasam dam, 412 lakh gallons, Gogarbham dam, 55 lakh gallons, Kumaradhara dam, 1,075 lakh gallons and Pasupudhara dam, 32 lakh gallons — which makes it clear that only 1,574 lakh gallons are available in the reservoirs. The water crisis is so acute this time that the present water levels would suffice only for the next 48 days if the rain god does not shower his blessings along with the rains.
Meanwhile, with the situation seemingly getting out of control, the temple administration has been looking for alternate sources in the crisis hour apart from undertaking a number of water conservation measures. The supply to the several Mutts and hotels & restaurants atop the hill shrine has been restricted to just two hours a day while for the residential colonies atop the hill shrine, water is being supplied once in 3 days. Apart from this, the TTD board which had approved to allocate Rs.36 for every thousand litres of water supplied by the Municipal corporation of Tirupati (MCT) has requested the MCT to supply atleast 6 MLD (six million litres per day). But on the contrary the MCT since Saturday has been pumping Telugu ganga water close to 2.5 MLD. Apart from these efforts the temple administration is also holding 'Varuna Yagam' to appease the rain goods seeking the divine intervention to put an end to the crisis in the form of good rains.