Police to inspect buildings near Padmanabha Swamy temple

The State police will inspect all buildings in the vicinity of the landmark Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple to devise a multi-layered security scheme to guard the ancient treasures ‘discovered' in its subterranean vaults.

The Revenue Department will help them identify the tenants/owners of the structures close to the temple in the heavily built-up heritage area. Illegal occupants will be evicted.

Government architects will inspect all heritage structures in the locality and identify those which need to be conserved. The State will evict the occupants of such buildings and seek the help of experts from the Archaeological Survey of India to preserve them.

The government will re-examine whether regular filming of television serials should be allowed in nearby buildings.

Infrared-beam based invisible intruder detection systems will be used to protect the temple's perimeter at night. When an intruder ‘breaks the line' of the invisible infrared beam, an alarm will automatically alert the armed guards at the Centralised Security Control Room proposed for the temple. The system will pin down the point of intrusion and surveillance cameras will automatically zero in on the intruder.

Officials say the ancient riches of the temple are likely to be stored in the vaults in modern tamper-proof steel safe deposit boxes. The chambers will be reinforced from inside with blast-proof steel plates to protect them against break-in attempts using heavy-duty drilling tools and explosives.

The vaults will be armed with a wide range of sound, motion and heat triggered alarms, and sophisticated locks to protect their contents from theft, fire, natural disasters, and arson. The entrances to the vaults will be fortified with armoured doors.

The police will involve local traders, hoteliers, curio shop owners and other stakeholders in the neighbourhood watch scheme it envisages for the temple locality.

The police say their plan is to make the temple's security as ‘unobtrusive and invisible' as possible. They say their scheme will not interfere with any temple rituals or practices. However, security men will strictly regulate the movement of visitors within the temple.

The police plan to bring the entire Fort area under round-the-clock video surveillance. Currently, nearly 100 armed policemen are guarding the temple. A temporary control room has been set up at the Fort Police Station. A Quick Reaction Team of commandos is on the stand by for rapid deployment.

The government has constituted a committee of senior police officers to prepare the security scheme for the temple. The committee will study the security systems in place at various national museums and the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh

Director-General of Police Jacob Punnose; Additional Director-General of Police, Intelligence, (ADGP) A. Hemachandran; ADGP (South Zone) K. Chandrasekhar; Inspector-General of Police, Intelligence, (IG) S. Ananthakrishnan; IG, Thiruvananthapuram Range, K. Padmakumar; and City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham are members of the team.

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