Endowments Department takes the decision owing to the spate of burglaries in temples

Gold and silver ornaments of deities in all major temples in twin cities will soon get insurance cover. Concerned over increasing thefts in temples, the Endowments Department is contemplating to get insurance coverage to ornaments to recover their value in the event of a burglary.

In the recent past, the city has witnessed six incidents in which four temples were burgled and gold and silver articles, besides cash was stolen. Thieves had struck at the Mangalmukh Hanuman Temple and Sri Mahankali Temple (Uppuguda), Sri Simhavahini Mahankali Temple (Lal Darwaza) and Sri Mutyalamma Temple (Golnaka), while vain attempts were made at Sri Pochamma Temple (Malakpet) and Ganesh Temple (Sultan Bazaar).

Given increasing thefts, the department has instructed officials concerned to get insurance coverage for gold and silver ornaments studded with previous diamonds apart from silver articles used for performing puja. The famous Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Chikkadpally and Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad have already insured the ornaments of the deities, says Endowments Department Assistant Commissioner (Hyderabad) A.V. Ramana Murthy.

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Gudimalkapur would get similar cover within a week. The executive officers of other temples too will approach the insurance firms, Mr. Murthy says. Plans have also been drawn up to tighten security at all major temples in the capital.

Senior officials say 742 major temples were located in twin cities and providing foolproof security to them is a difficult task due to financial constraints.

“Providing insurance cover is one of the options to overcome the loss sustained in case of a burglary in the temple,” they maintain. Apart from utilising the services of policemen, private security guards were deployed at the main entrances round the clock. Surveillance cameras with 24x7 recording facility were installed in major temples and footage can be saved for at least seven days, says Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple executive officer A. Ashok Kumar.