Tirumala: Once again, pilgrims on Tirumala hills were forced to wait in their cottages and guestrooms for many hours due to shortage of water on Wednesday. They had to postpone darshan and tonsuring of heads by a couple of hours for want of bathing water. After a decade, the Tirumala hills are facing severe scarcity of water this year. About a month ago, pilgrims faced a similar situation and many cancelled darshan as they could not get water for bathing and other needs.
On Wednesday, the officials were able to supply only 20 lakh gallons as against the daily requirement of 28 lakh gallons. Daily pilgrim rush to Tirumala ranges from 40,000 to 58,000. To meet their needs, 28 lakh gallons of water is needed on a lean day and 38 lakh gallons on rush days like Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
For the last two days, the water works department is in short supply of water from Tirupati, which led to depleted water levels in the reservoirs and tanks atop the hills. As a result, supply of water to cottages was stopped from 10.30 am on Wednesday. Though most of the pilgrims left for darshan by then, those who were still in their rooms and those who arrived at Tirumala just then suffered.
Officials resumed water supply to half of the hills within two hours, but areas like Garudadri and Hill View cottages went without water till night. The engineering department has proposed to supply water from all existing sources to the hill shrine through common taps.
On Wednesday, officials introduced common taps at GNC, HVC and SNC areas and suggested to pilgrims to carry the water from there to their respective guesthouses. The officials are also planning to introduce common tap system to all the areas in Tirumala soon.