Tirumala Tirupati to be a Smart Holy City…Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, is holy butset for a makeover as a smart city too, thanks to an initiative by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).
“As part of the initiative, we are focussing on energy, technology, drinking water, waste disposal and sanitation that will make a positive impact on the quality of time devotees spend here,’’ D Sambasivarao, Executive Officer, TTD, told BusinessLine.
The Centre had last week named Tirupati as one of 98 smart cities to be developed. The TTD, however, now wants to get a smart tag for the projects it is funding at Tirumala.
For the first time, a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model to achieve self-sufficiency in green energy has been firmed up. The TTD has floated tenders for a 7.2-MW wind unit and a 10-MW solar plant. “We are spending approximately ₹7 per unit and this will come down significantly with these new projects,’’ Sambasivarao said. The TTD will own and operate these units after the expiry of the agreement period.
New tech for Darshan
New technology will also be deployed to manage darshan and accommodation booking. As of now, a tech team from Tata Consultancy Services is engaged in the work. “In addition, Microsoft has sent a proposal for providing an advanced solution which is being looked into,” the official said.
On a week day, about 85,000 devotees visit the Venkateshwara temple and the number crosses a lakh during festivals and holidays.
“Everything is online now and we have streamlined all processes reducing the darshan time for pilgrims to three-four hours,’’ Sambasivarao said. Now, the tech platforms will be upgraded further. About 30 per cent of 7,000 rooms are booked online. Though there is no acute shortage of accommodation on normal days, the TTD is in the process of increasing their number.
A water conservation project has also been drawn up. If all the rainwater can be harvested, it will be sufficient to cater to the needs of the temple town for over two months.
According to Sambasivarao, all these efforts will transform Tirumala into a smart holy city in a year from now.
Courtesy – The Hindu.