Inventorying at Padmanabhaswamy temple

Disruption in power supply to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple on Thursday night — twice within an hour — triggered security concerns at the temple where the inventorying of the contents of its underground vaults is on.

According to sources among the temple staff, the first disruption in power was at 7.20 p.m. The supply was restored a few minutes later. Soon afterwards, during the time of ‘Seeveli’, the temple was once again plunged into darkness. This time the lights came back on only about 15 minutes later, police officials said.

A senior police official associated with the Temple security told The Hindu that the incidents on Thursday night can definitely be called a “security concern,” if not a “security threat.” V. K. Harikumar, temple executive officer, could not be reached for comments.

“All the CCTV cameras inside the temple have a power back-up for close to eight hours.

“However, if there is no light, these cameras can’t capture images. There are only a handful of infrared cameras at strategic points inside the Temple; devices which can ‘see’ even in the dark,” the senior police official said. The metal detectors placed at the Temple’s entrances also did not work during the power disruption on Thursday, a Temple employee claimed.

The temple’s generator — which powers lights inside the temple compound — does not automatically come on during a power outage. “An employee has to switch it on. Tonight, when the power was disrupted for the second time, all employees were reportedly busy with preparations for the ‘Seeveli.’ This is said to be the reason for the delay in switching on the generator.

We had written to the electricity board pointing out the security threat to the temple and wanted them to ensure that there was no such disruption of power supply to the temple,” the senior police official added.

According to KSEB officials, the power outage was caused by the ‘tripping’ of a power feeder at Kalady.

“The second feeder at Sreekantaswaram, which also services the temple functioned normally,” a KSEB engineer said.