Flash floods: Roads to Tirumala shrine shut, flight service hit, pilgrims stranded

The heavy downpour was triggered by a depression in the Bay of Bengal and it battered the temple-town and many parts of Chittoor district. Photo: File photo of the temple

The ghat roads leading to the ancient shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, has been indefinitely closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday evening due to incessant rain.

The stairway leading to the hill-temple was also closed, a temple official said. Besides, air traffic has been affected. Tirupati airport director S. Suresh said two passenger flights from Hyderabad and Bengaluru, scheduled to land at Renigunta airport here, had to return due to bad weather. A flight from New Delhi to Tirupati was cancelled following the inclement weather, he said.

Hundreds of pilgrims were also stranded as the temple town witnessed massive flood, of an unprecedented scale, on Thursday. The heavy downpour was triggered by a depression in the Bay of Bengal and it battered the temple-town and many parts of Chittoor district, too.

Also see: Tirupati left waterlogged

Advertisement

The four ‘maada’ streets adjoining the main temple on Tirumala Hills remained flooded as was the Vaikuntham queue complex (cellar). Darshan was stalled as pilgrims could not venture out because of the inundation.

The Japali Anjaneya Swamy temple on Tirumala was inundated and the idol submerged.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam officials made arrangement for free food and accommodation for the stranded pilgrims.

 TTD executive officer K.S. Jawahar Reddy declared a holiday on Friday for the office staff in view of the situation. The TTD additional executive officers’ office in Tirumala remained marooned, as were many guest houses.

A landslide damaged three rooms at the Narayanagiri guest house complex but nothing untoward has been reported as these rooms were unoccupied, official sources said.
Pilgrims staying in other rooms in Narayanagiri and the nearby S.V. guest house were shifted to other locations.

 In Srinivasa Mangapuram, near Tirupati, two autos were washed away as the Swarnamukhi rivulet remained in spate. A bridge on the Renigunta-Kadapa highway was in a precarious position at Anjaneyapuram. A truck was stranded on the bridge, causing a traffic jam on either side.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to Chittoor District Collector M Hari Narayanan and reviewed the situation. The CM asked the Collector to closely monitor the water levels and take steps accordingly, a CMO release said. Relief camps should be opened wherever necessary and people from vulnerable areas shifted on need, the CM’s directive to the Collector said.

The CM also directed the deployment of NDRF and SDRF teams. All the departments concerned should remain on alert, he added.

(With inputs from Agencies)

CATCH US ON: