The Kerala Government has given approval to a five-tier security system for the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which has huge treasures locked up in its vaults.
The hi-tech security system, approved by a high-level meeting of officials and experts called by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday, took into account all possible dangers to the shrine, including theft, sabotage and natural disasters, official sources said.
The committee comprises experts from ISRO, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies and top officials of Kerala police.
The system, which will have such advanced components like satellite surveillance and seismographic-linked alarm system, is expected to cost Rs. 41 crore.
It would also have metal detectors, X-ray scanners and hidden cameras at various points of the temple complex, spread around seven acres in the heart of Kerala’s capital.
Installation of sophisticated locks and alarms at the vaults are also under consideration. An infrared beam-based intruder detection system, linked to a security camera network, has also been proposed.
Select doors, windows and ventilators of the majestic temple known for its structural grandeur would be fortified with steel bars and impact-resistant glass.
The plan suggested safe-keeping of the invaluable articles ranging from stone-studded crowns and idols to piles of gold and silver coins in tamper-proof steel safe-deposit boxes.
The temple has six vaults, most of them underground, filled with priceless articles. During the recent inventory by a Supreme Court-appointed panel, five of these vaults were opened, leaving out one chamber, called “vault B”.
The inventory was followed by formation of another experts’ panel for scientific evaluation of the treasures headed by National Museum Director C.V. Aananda Bose.
The Government has already stepped up security of the temple after discovery of the treasures by deploying police personnel and commandos.