Given the mounting concerns over safety in public places, Shilparamam has stepped up its security apparatus with the installation of CCTV cameras to keep an eye on the sprawling campus.
One of the popular leisure and shopping destinations in the city, Shilparamam, spread across 65 acres, is visited by thousands every day including tourists from other States. Hosting art and cultural activities, it is also a major attraction for foreign tourists visiting the city.
“Already, eight CCTV cameras have been installed at vantage points, and more will be added. As of now, we are able to monitor key points including an uninterrupted vigil of the entrance,” says G.N. Rao, Special Officer, Shilparamam. The strength of security staff has also been raised for more visible presence, he adds.
Nearly 100 sentry guards have been deployed at different areas including the recently opened Night Bazar. Conceived and developed as an art and crafts village with facilities to host cultural events, Shilparamam has nearly 300 artisans from across the country setting up stalls with their goods throughout the year.
On special occasions such as Sankranti, Navaratri and New Year’s eve, the number of artisans swells to nearly 700. “Shilparamam complex has also turned into a much favoured destination for cultural activities, and more than 475 different cultural events were hosted last year,” says Mr. Rao.
A recent addition to the campus is the Sculpture Park where sculptors from across the country participate in a camp and engage themselves in the creation of works of art. Along with a few old ones, a total of 80 sculptures have been put on display at Shilparamam. Meanwhile, the authorities are planning to expand the concept of Shilparamam to other parts of the Andhra Pradesh including a centre at Bhadrachalam.
“At Bhadrachalam, we are working on a sculpture park and given the mythological appeal of the place, the idea is to base it on the Ramayana theme,” he says. The locations where the much-admired Shilparamam centres have been set up or are under development include Kadapa, Tirupati, Pulivendula, Visakhapatnam, Puttaparthi and Kakinada.
“On an average, a total of 22.5 lakh persons visit these centres every year,” Mr. Rao adds.