The iconic Amba Vilas Palace, one of the country’s top tourist destinations with a footfall of nearly 3 million tourists, will soon get a security upgrade.
In what can be described as the biggest security revamping exercise done so far for the palace, the entire palace court premises, including its five entry gates, will come under electronic surveillance. Acting on a recommendation from the Mysore City Police, the Mysore Palace Board is beefing up security within the palace premises and without.
The new surveillance system will be in place before Dasara.
With the palace drawing a record number of tourists annually, thanks to its majesty and illumination, the police thought it was time for a “foolproof” security system and recommended an upgrade to the existing system. As many as 118 cameras will be installed in addition to the 16 closed-circuit television cameras already in place.
Police Commissioner M.A. Saleem, who recently reviewed palace security, told The Hindu on Monday that the installation of the cameras was underway.
“We took a decision to upgrade security inside and outside the palace after a detailed inspection and recommended electronic surveillance. The Palace Board is implementing our suggestions. I am sure the work will be over before Dasara,” Mr. Saleem said.
The Home Guard will also be deployed in addition to police personnel for round-the-clock security. An Assistant Commissioner of Police will also be present.
Mr. Saleem said 30 Home Guards were sought to strengthen palace security. Last year, a three-member team from the National Security Guards had inspected the palace, along with members of the Centre for Counterterrorism, a wing of the State’s internal security division.
Citing security reasons, commercial activities were shifted off palace premises. The State-run Cauvery Emporium and Priyadarshini Handlooms, which had shops inside the palace complex, shifted their outlets to the old archaeology office behind the palace on the advice of the Palace Board.
The board had earlier proposed a visit to Tirupati temple to study the security system there and replicate the model, if possible, at the palace.