The Tourism Department is going to take up erection and operation of rope way from Tirupathi to Tirumala. The Tourism Department plans to establish multiplexes, food courts and other entertainment and recreational spots on Tirumala Hills. The Committee feels that in order to facilitate the activities of Tourism Department on the hills, the area of TTD is restricted to two hills covering an area of 27.5 sq.kms.
Division Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court has observed in a judgment as follows: ?Although there is no documentation available as the origin is lost in antiquity, there is no attempt made before us to question the ownership of the Lord Venkateswara of Seven Hills. This being true and a real concept, the Board of Trustees, the Committee or the Executive Officer are only administrators of the property of Lord Venkateswara. They can have no right of ownership in themselves and they cannot thus decide to do anything against the interest of the right of the owner i.e., in the instant case, Lord Venkateswara. Once the ownership is resolved and the right to administer is deemed to vest as provided under Article 26 of the Constitution of India in the plurality of the devotees and regulated by the provisions of the Act and Rules framed thereunder, no administrator, whether appointed under the Act or otherwise can take liberty to destroy the sanctity and holiness of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams and domain, as we have already held, extends to all the Seven Hills called ?Tirumala?.?
Earlier the Division Bench in para 3 held as follows:- ?It is not in dispute that pilgrims in thousands and millions in number sometimes visit the temple and there is no day which is not full of activities of the pilgrims and various rituals, poojas and rites of the cult preserved since antiquity and no part of the Seven Hills, except some secular activities which are essential for the service of Lord Venkateswara, is free from religious activities in and around the temple right from the Foot Hills on all sides.?
The Sacred Seven Hills
The Committee is of the considered opinion that restricting the area of TTD to only 21 kms covering two hills, runs counter to the ancient texts and age-old traditions and practices of the temple and that the Hindus always considered Sri Venkateswara as Lord of the Seven Hills and lakhs of devotees climb the Seven Hills with utmost devotion and reverence bare footed chanting the names of Lord Venkateswara. The Committee further feels that opening the Seven Hills to the Tourism Department will destroy the sanctity, serenity and spirituality of the Seven Hills and will seriously hurt the feelings of the Hindus throughout the country and the world.
Funds of the TTD
Previously Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Samithi was organizsing various activities like Harikathas, devotional lectures and concerts in religious music and dance by eminent artists. Now, the name Hindu has been removed and a Dharma Prachara Parishad is in its place which hardly conducts any religious discourses by eminent Hindu spiritual leaders and does not conduct any religious cultural activities by prominent artists. The members of the public further expressed that eminent Hindu spiritual leaders should be invited to give discourses regularly at important places throughout the country and even abroad. They are of the further opinion that contributions of the devotees running into hundreds of crores should be utilised only for Hindu religious and dharmic activities and various service activities in the name of Lord Venkateswara only. The funds should not be diverted to other activities.
The Devasthanam has donated considerable land to a Muslim organisation for construction of a mosque, which has seriously hurt and agitated Hindus, arousing their religious sentiments. Several persons have expressed that more than 35,000 temples in the state are not having any means for performing daily poojas and donating for other religions is wholly unwarranted.
Constitution of TTD Board and the Committee
It is the general view of the public that TTD Board and its Committees should comprise of eminent devout Hindus who have contributed to the development of the Hindu faith and spirituality and government of the day should take the advice of the Hindu dharmacharyas and Hindu spiritual leaders in making such appointments.