As part of its efforts to curb blackmarketeering and other malpractices in the sale of the much-sought-after "Arjitha Seva'' (paid seva) tickets, the TTD has adopted the principle of bio-metrics, an emerging branch of science', to operate the ticket counters.
Under the system, the thumb impression of the pilgrims who buy the tickets to attend the sevas in the Tirumala hill temple, such as Suprabhatham, Thomala Seva, Archana, PKU and SD Seva, are recorded at the counters and digitally transmitted to the Vaikuntam queue complex, entry point into the temple. When the ticket-holder produces his ticket at the queue complex, his thumb impression will be verified. Unless it tallied, the pilgrim will not be allowed to enter the temple.
Such a foolproof system had become imperative to check the touts. A Rs. 100 seva ticket is sold by them for a for a hefty Rs.500 or Rs.600 on peak days.
The system has been introduced in the current booking counter of Vijaya Bank, Tirumala, which has been selling the seva tickets on behalf of the TTD for the last several years.
Depending on the success of the system, it would be introduced in the general darshan queue also, replacing the "Sudarsanam'' token system. This would gradually be extended to major cities and all district headquarter towns of the State.