Space-age devices to be part of a Rs. 41-crore unobtrusive five-tier system

Intelligent, invisible and unobtrusive layers of space-age devices would soon cocoon the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple here as part of a Rs. 41-crore, five-tier, security system readied by the State government.

This system is designed to insulate the riches recently found in the subterranean vaults of the temple from possible theft, sabotage and natural disasters.

A possible no-fly zone above the temple complex, spread over seven acres in the historical Fort area; a seismograph-linked alarm system to detect attempts to tunnel through to the vaults; satellite surveillance of the complex; and an infrared beam-based intruder detection system linked to a security camera network would be at the heart of what would perhaps be the most elaborate security system to be installed for a place of worship in Kerala.

64 surveillance cameras

Administrative sanction has already been given for the purchase of 64 surveillance cameras. These will be in addition to the ones installed outside the temple premises by the Kerala police. The electrical and related work for this is almost over and the cameras are expected to be put in place by Keltron by October 15.

The outermost layer of security will begin from the East Fort, while the innermost layer will be at the sanctum sanctorum. Permanent barricades will be erected on the roads leading to the four gates of the temple.

“We have worked out plans to make the temple's security as ‘unobtrusive and invisible' as possible with least human interference. The scheme will not interfere with any temple rituals or practices,” security sources said. Once the system is up and running, the Fort area and the temple complex will be under round-the-clock video surveillance.

The ‘intelligent' systems to be installed in the temple complex are designed to take ‘decisions' on their own in case of a theft, sabotage or a natural disaster. For instance, if an intruder ‘breaks the line,' of the invisible infrared beam an alarm will automatically alert the armed guards at the control room proposed. The system will identify the point of intrusion and surveillance cameras will automatically zero in on the intruder.

A similar infrared beam-based ‘invisible' intruder detection system linked to a security camera network will protect the perimeter during the night. The entire complex will be lit up automatically in case a fire alarm is triggered.

The security control room will be wi-fi enabled and the personnel manning it will be able to view every nook and corner of the complex. All the equipments that are to be installed as part of the security system will be inter-linked.

Select doors, windows, skylights, and ventilators will be fortified with steel bars and impact-resistant glass. The entry and exit points for visitors will be limited. The riches are likely to be stored in the vaults in tamper-proof steel safe-deposit boxes. The vaults will be armed with a wide range of alarms sensitive to sound, motion and heat and also fitted with sophisticated locks. Armoured doors too will be put in place.

“Even the doors of the temple can be controlled from the control room. Arrangements will be made so that the city police control room also gets the messages in case the control room of the temple suffers any damage,” sources said. Already, the police have mooted a special security zone for the temple by invoking the provisions of the Kerala Police Act.

The Kerala Police will soon approach the Airports Authority of India to request a no-fly zone over the complex. ‘The multi-layer security system is fully funded by the State and the first phase is likely to be commissioned within two months,” the official sources said.

The temple is being guarded by a 239-strong contingent of the Kerala Police led by an SP and by a team of Quick Reaction commandos. “The number of personnel can be scaled down once the security system is in place,” a senior police official said.