With more than 65,000 pilgrims visiting the temple town of Tirupati every day to worship Lord Venkateswara, the water requirements of the town are very high. Thus, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams aka TTD has started thinking about rainwater harvesting.
If reports are to be believed, the management is planning to get two high raise check dams constructed in the vicinity of the town.
The daily requirement of water in Tirupati of about 14 million liters a day is usually met by the Telugu Ganga Canal. However, thanks to the cyclone Roanu that hit last November, the town has enough water in its reserves and is not drawing any water from the canal. Sources reveal that the reserves have enough water to last for 9 months without any assistance from the Telugu Ganga Canal. But, if TTD chooses to draw 5 million liters of water from the canal every day, the reserves can last as long as a year.
Since this does not a permanent solution, TTD has decided to go forth with a project, to save every drop of rainwater to meet the ever growing water needs of the town.
The Executive Officer of TTD, D. Sambasiva Reddy revealed that they would be inviting tenders from contractors within a week or two to get two high raise check dams constructed. These dams will have a height of 7 meters each and will come up along Gogarbham Dam, a site zeroed in by the experts.
He added that rainwater harvesting would reduce the temple town’s dependence on the Telugu Ganga Canal, drawing water from which is quite expensive. He revealed that drawing 1 kiloliter of water from the reserves in the town costs Rs 10 to 12 whereas it costs Rs. 26/KL when drawn from borewells. The cost escalates to Rs. 56/KL when the water is acquired from Telugu Ganga Canal.
With an intention of designing a blue book that would help TTD preserve and conserve water for longer, it is soon embarking on a programme to gauge the water requirements and water usage of the temple town.