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Tirumala Darshan for Poor will be a costly affair as Govt hikes Alipiri toll charges

After 24 years, the Alipiri toll gate fee, entrance to Tirumala ghat road, has been doubled. The Endowments Department issued an order on Friday, revising the Alipiri toll gate fee based on the recommendation of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).
 
Two-wheelers which used to be charged Rs. 2, have been exempted from toll fee now. The toll fee for cars, jeeps, mini light commercial vehicles and taxis (5+1 and 8+1 capacity) has been increased to Rs. 50 per trip. 
 
The Governor has made the amendments exercising powers conferred under the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act and revised the fee at Alipiri toll gate, the GO stated. An order revising the toll fee at Alipiri was last issued on September 2, 1996. 
 
The TTD Board of Trustees had discussed the revision of the toll fee at Alipiri gate three years ago. Later, the TTD Executive Officer wrote a letter to the State government seeking amendments to the order issued earlier. The EO wrote letters to the government again on March 31, 2020 and December 4, 2020 in this regard. After carefully analysing the TTD recommendation, the government revised the toll fee.
 
Meanwhile, heavy trucks are not being allowed on the ghat road now. But, a provision has been made in the fee revision for future requirements. 
 
Taxi operators of Tirumala, Tirupati and Renigunta welcomed the revision of toll fee at Alipiri stating that there is no difference in the toll fee for own and commercial vehicles now. Around 14,000 taxis operate from Tirupati and Renigutna to Tirumala. 
 
There has been a spurt in the number of vehicles engaged by travel operators in recent times for transportation of pilgrims. However, locals in Tirupati are not happy with the hike in toll fee. “With the steep rise in the fuel prices, the hike in toll fee at Alipiri gate will put an additional burden on people visiting Tirumala,” said a devotee.

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