There is no truth in the criticism that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is allowing 'darshanam' of Lord Balaji, for the sake of income, said its Executive Officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal.
"Some media and social media are propagating that TTD is allowing darshanam of Lord Balaji for the sake of income. There is no truth at all in it. We have made arrangements for darshanam for 12,000 devotees per day, according to the guidelines of the central and state governments," he said while addressing the media persons.
Singhal also denied allegations 'darshanam' at Tirumala are the reason for increasing COVID -19 cases at the Tirupati.
Pointing out on the number of COVID-19 cases, Singhal further said, "Till date, 743 of TTD employees are detected COVID-19 positive. 402 of them have already recovered, 338 are undergoing treatment and three have breathed their last. The recovered employees are attending the duties." Explaining the reason behind reduced footfall of devotees, Singhal said free darshan tokens are stopped since few days as partial lockdown is imposed in Tirupati town. "Due to increasing corona cases all over the country, the number of devotees is reduced, however, the number of visitors has increased since the last two-three days," he added.
He further pointed out that the online 'Varalakshmi Vratam' was conducted at Goddess Padmavati temple at Tiruchanur on July 31, where 3,507 couples have participated.
"In a similar manner, online Kalyana Utsavam is being held at Lord Balaji Temple at Tirumala. 118 couples have booked tickets for August 7; 597 couples have booked tickets for August 8, and 256 couples have booked tickets for August 9," he added.
Sharing some statistical details for the month of July, Singhal said, "Around 2.3 lakh devotees visited the temple of Lord Balaji this month. While the e-Hundi income at Lord Balaji Temple was Rs 3.57 crore, the same at Tiruchanur Padmavati temple was Rs 8.16 lakhs." He said close to 2.59 lakhs devotees consumed prasad.