In a latest move that is going to curb a devotee’s freedom for breakfast or lunch or dinner at Lord Balaji’s Holy Abode, Tirumala, the YSRCP Government has decided to get rid of all private hotels and restaurants on the hill.
Apparently, TTD Executive Officer, Y.V. Subba Reddy wants every devotee on the hill to enjoy Anna Prasadam served in the Srivari Annadanam space. While this seems like a noble move and sounds good as an idea, practically it curbs every devotee’s freedom to eat what they want.
Additionally, there is also a question on whether the TTD can serve food for all the devotees on the hill. According to the YSRCP government, Anna Prasadam kiosks would be set up at all major junctions in Tirumala to provide free food to the devotees.
Unfortunately, this may create more chaos on roads if the food isn’t available or the stock gets over. It could also cause long queues and damage the peace and tranquility that Tirumala offers for its devotees. This could also lead to traffic jams on the hill.
Additionally, there is news that the licenses of private eateries and restaurants would be cancelled gradually. There is information that the YSRCP government will give these food contracts to its own leaders and members to ensure that the finances are again routed through their leaders.
“They want a share in everything. Now, they’ve even done this to Tirumala. It is unjust,” said a devotee, expressing his disbelief at such a senseless move. Another political leader said: “From mutton marts to liquor to fish and prawn ponds, they are encroaching every place where a small vendor makes his livelihood. This is the most inhuman way of stripping people of their income and the small livelihoods they create. It can have severe consequences on the state, making everyone jobless and unemployed.”
Earlier too the YSRCP ended up in a controversy against TTD for creating a jumbo board with over 80 members that did not stand legally valid. Further, there are rumours that YSRCP members have been selling devotees tickets for higher prices apart from also selling off Laddoos and curbing the numbers given to devotees.
With such discrepancies being reported even now, one doesn’t understand whether these issues will be looked into by the TTD or the Chief Minister himself. On the other hand, the TTD chairman will soon resume all Arjitha Sevas and darshans, including the Divya Darshan, which had been halted since March 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic.