A joint sitting of the two Committees constituted by the Supreme Court on the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple on Sunday decided to conduct a trial run on the inventorying of treasures found in the vaults of the Temple on February 9.

Following the trial run, the actual inventorying process will begin by February 17 or 18, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and committee nodal officer K. Jayakumar told The Hindu.

“Inventorying of the treasures in the Temple vaults is a complicated and time-consuming process. Once the process begins, it should go on uninterrupted. That is why we need to conduct a trial run,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

He said that Keltron, which would be providing the technical support for the inventorying process, was ready with the hardware and software required for Digital Archiving of Temple Antiques (DATA), including the 3-D cameras, carat meter and digitisation software. The DATA equipment would be installed by the first week of February.

Keltron has also readied a team of officials to carry out the digital archiving process under the supervision of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The State government had earlier inked a Rs. 2.5-crore deal with Keltron for the purpose.

The inventorying methodology will involve taking 3-D photographs of every artefact and their value assessment by experts using advanced equipment such as carat meter and digital balance. The ‘condition report' of each artefact will include scientific details, including the object's susceptibility to gases, size, shape and indication of damage. All artefacts in the vaults would be assigned an ‘antique identification number, an alphanumeric code of up to 15 characters. The entire inventorying process will be video-recorded.”

“The inventorying process may go on for over a year. Every person involved with the inventory process will be subject to police verification. The entire security aspect of the process will be taken care of by the State government,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

As per the Supreme Court directive, the temple trust has also provided a building to house the office of the committee and inventory team near the Padmatheertham pond.

“Before the trial run, the committee will sit once again on February 9 and on February 15 it will present its interim report to the court,” Mr. Jayakumar said.