Passengers travelling by a public bus had a lucky escape this morning when boulders from atop a hill came crashing down on the Up Ghat Road leading to Tirumala from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The road cracked and the railing flew off due to the impact.
A major accident was averted as the alert Road Transport Corporation driver had stopped the bus ahead of the landslide site, said an official.
"Not just the bus. Several vehicles and people escaped what could have become a major mishap today," Jawahar Reddy, chief executive officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam told NDTV.
Road repair works are likely to take upto three days due to which devotees have been advised to postpone their visit.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that governs the hill shrine has said Tirumala and Tirupati has seen a 30-year high in torrential rain this season. Experts have been called in from IIT Delhi to advise on how best to keep pilgrims safe to the most visited place of worship in the world.
TTD chairperson YV Subba Reddy inspected the Ghat road along with other members and officials. He said repairs would happen on war footing, Delhi IIT experts would arrive on Wednesday evening to inspect the road along with TTD engineers and vigilance officials.
The chairman advised devotees to postpone their visit, if possible. He said the Down Ghat Road would handle traffic in both directions. He said all the devotees who booked their darshan tickets and postponed visit due to rains will be given options to use same tickets within six months. However, there's no obstacles for Tirumala visit for devotees coming by foot.
Mr Reddy said the retainer walls and the ghat road was severely affected at four locations after a series of landslides on Wednesday morning at 5.40 am disrupted traffic again.
He said damage to the road was identified in five to six spots on the Up ghat Road and officials were directed to take up all precautionary steps and repairs on war footing.