Keeping in view the demand of scores of devotees wanting to have the darshan of Lord Sri Venkateshwara Swamy, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Chairman, YV Subba Reddy informed that the temple administration is weighing options to increase the quota of Slotted Sarva Darshan (SSD) tokens. Since 9 September, 2021, TTD had decided to resume free darshan at the temple. This was done considering the decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh.
On Monday, the TTD Chairman launched TTD Agarbatti, its own brand of incense sticks. Speaking to the media after the event, he said that plans are afoot to issue SSD tokens for the common pilgrims online. He added that taking tokens online will help regular pilgrims and keep at bay their repeated visits to the counters. Mr. Rao also said that the temple management may also increase the quota of Rs. 300 darshan tickets.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak in April, with multiple members of temple staff testing positive, the temple authorities had decided to close the temple for free darshan and imposed severe restrictions. Now with the state registering fewer Covid-19 positive cases by the day, the temple management started to allow only 2,000 devotees for free darshan every day. While it had earlier been announced that only devotees from Chittoor District will be allowed to avail the free darshan, the decision by TTD to increase the quota for SSD tokens may permit devotees from other districts in Andhra Pradesh too.
Announcing the aforementioned decisions and measures, the TTD Chairman appealed to all the devotees to observe all Covid-19 safety guidelines of wearing masks, utilising sanitizers frequently and maintaining social distancing at all points in the temple.