The master plan for developing the Sri Suryanarayana Swamy Temple, dedicated to the Sun god at Arasavalli near here, remains on paper.
About 2,000 devotees have darshan of the deity on Sundays, and on Ratha Saptami , the number touches 3 lakh. The temple nets an annual income of Rs.4 crore and has more than Rs.18 crore worth fixed deposits, but the Endowments Department has failed to take up developmental activities.
Lack of coordination between the temple staff and priests seems to have held up implementation of the master plan. Also, the temple has been without a regular executive officer for the last four years.
If the temple is developed in line with the master plan, it will get facilities on a par with major ones such as the Simhachalam temple near Vishakapatnam, the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada and the Annavaram temple in East Godavari district.
The plan, however, requires all commercial establishments in and around the temple to be demolished. The congestion caused by vendors or hawkers at the temple’s entrance and traffic movement in its vicinity makes even walking difficult for pilgrims, especially on Sundays. Utter chaos prevails on festival days.
Vehicles are parked in front of the temple in the absence of parking area. The district administration has proposed removal of the shops on either side of the road leading up to the temple and widening it up to 60 feet.
Rejuvenation of Indra Pushkarani is long overdue. There is no ‘mada veedhi’ as the temple is surrounded by houses and commercial establishments.Chief priest of the temple Ippili Sankara Sarma said creation of more amenities for pilgrims should not be a problem. “The temple has lands in its vicinity where parking lots can be set up. Relocation of shops will not be a big task since traders are ready to shift to new accommodation once it is created. We urge the government to implement the master plan as early as possible,” he said.