TIRUMALA, TIRUPATI: The second ghat road at Alipiri which leads to Tirumala shrine was closed for an indefinite period after it was severely damaged due to a massive landslide on Wednesday morning in Tirupati, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Vehicular movement was halted after huge boulders and soil along with uprooted trees blocked the road, leaving many vehicles stuck on the ghat road.
At around 5.40 am early in the morning a large rock weighing more than a ton fell from the hillock, eroding soil in four parts of the Ghat Road. Vehicles were brought to a grinding halt causing a heavy traffic jam there. TTD CVSO Gopinath Jetty said vehicles would be allowed to go to Tirumala in installments from the first ghat road in batches till the road is repaired.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Chairman YV Subba Reddy inspected the ghat road and said that this was the first time in the last 30 years that Tirumala had experienced such heavy rains leading to these landslides on the Tirumala Ghat roads. He also warned that another five or six cliffs on the upper ghat road were in danger of collapsing. The TTD Chairman said he had directed the authorities to repair the roads at the earliest and resume vehicular traffic.
YV Subba Reddy said that in the early hours a bus was on the way to Tirumala. After the bus driver saw heavy smoke and heard loud sounds coming from the hill, he immediately stopped the bus and thus averted a mishap.
The TTD’s engineering wing has already launched restoration work and earthmovers were pressed into service and trucks were deployed to clear the rubble.
A team of experts from IIT Delhi will arrive in Tirupati on Wednesday evening. TTD along with engineering and vigilance officers will inspect the ghat roads. He explained that they would conduct a full study on what precautions should be taken to prevent landslides in the future and submit a report in two to three days. He also said that strict protective measures would be taken to prevent such landslides in the future. Till the repairs on Ghat Roads are completed, vehicular traffic to the temple would be allowed on the down ghat road until then keeping the pilgrims' safety in mind, he said.
As per weather reports, heavy rains will continue in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, as sections of the region continued to see heavy deluge on Tuesday. There is a possible low-pressure area in the Andaman Sea that may strengthen and bring further rains to the State by December 3-4, reports say.
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