Watchtowers and a police outpost are being planned at the world heritage site in Mamallapuram by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The security measures will come up early next year, as part of ASI’s drive to secure world heritage sites from attacks and damages following the attacks at Bodh Gaya in Bihar in July this year.
Tamil Nadu has four world heritage sites. The group of 35 monuments at Mamallapuram and Brihadeeshwara Temple (Big Temple), Tanjore, will get the security cover in the first drive.
Brihadeeshwara Temple in Gangaikondacholapuram and Sri Airavateswara temple in Darasuram near Kumbakonam will be up for security cover next.
ASI will coordinate with the Kancheepuram district police to set up a police booth near the Shore temple and at least a 100 security guards will be deployed at various strategic and crucial points within Mamallapuram.
Further, watchtowers will be set up near the monuments along the seashore at Mamallapuram.
ASI’s Chennai Circle team led by G. Maheswari, superintending archaeologist, has been holding a series of meetings with district collectors and superintendents of police where heritage sites are located. “Providing security cover to the monuments is also part of the conservation work,” she said. The four world heritage sites are a part of 248 centrally-protected monuments under the jurisdiction of Chennai Circle that comprises Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.
Besides, the Chennai Circle of ASI also maintains 163 centrally-protected sites. At present, monuments at Mamallapuram are protected by 13 guards from a private security agency.