District Collector Ch. Vijayamohan visited Omkaram, a pilgrim centre in Bandi Atmakur mandal in Kurnool district, on Wednesday and assured to resolve an issue arising out of the Forest Department raising objections on renovation of Sri Venkateswara temple in the nearby Nallamala reserve forest, within the next one and half month.
Accompanied by Nandyal Revenue Divisional Officer Sudhakar Reddy, Divisional Forest Officer Siva Kumar and other revenue staff, the Collector trekked in the forest area and offered prayers to Sri Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavathi in Sri Venkateswara temple. Devotees told the Collector that the temple, which was dilapidated about two decades ago, was being renovated, as large number of pilgrims head from Omkaram to the temple and perform puja.
The devotees were being given ‘theertham’ and ‘prasadam’, but the forest officials had been raising objections to it. Assuring to resolve the issue in 45 days, he said the revenue and the forest officials would be directed to jointly provide drinking water and arrange ‘theertham’ and ‘prasadam’ until then, in place of private individuals.
Citing curbs on movement of private persons in the Nallamala reserve forest, Mr. Vijayamohan assured to take steps to ensure that devotees were not put to hardship.
The Collector later visited Kasireddinayana ashram nearby and inspected the cooking arrangements and ‘annadanam’ in its ‘annadana satram.’ He expressed satisfaction and served food to the devotees. Bandi Atmakur Tehsildar Seshaphani, temple official Veeraiah, inspector Ramesh, villagers Nageswara Reddy, Chenna Reddy, Sankar Reddy, Chakrapani and people of nearby villages and officials participated.