As part of an exercise to upgrade security at major temples in Tamil Nadu, hi-tech surveillance cameras will soon be installed at the world famous Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple in Madurai. Work on installing the 32 cameras began on Monday with technical support from Information Technology major HCL.
The Meenakshi Temple was among the vital installations in the State that faced threat from Lashkar-e-Taiba a few months ago, following which security was enhanced. The project to install cameras being executed at a cost of Rs.48.5 lakh envisages provision of a security blanket to the temple complex and its vicinity, official sources told The Hindu here on Monday.
The number of cameras could also be increased on the advice of the security agencies. Apart from advanced Internet protocol-operated dome cameras, electronic alarms, sensors and control room apparatus would also be installed.
The installation work is expected to be completed in two months.
Technical personnel from HCL will be working on the project for one year to provide maintenance and other services. Two control rooms are being established, with one to be monitored by security agencies and temple staff. The surveillance cameras to be installed at vantage points would cover the entire temple premises and four Adi streets surrounding the temple, besides some portions of the Chithirai streets.
Most of the cameras will be kept at concealed locations. Due care would be taken to ensure that devotees are not affected by the installation work, a temple official said.
Once the project is completed, it would significantly enhance the security of the temple and provide the police personnel with vital inputs in protecting the complex, he added.
Installation of surveillance cameras at major temples follows recommendations made by the State intelligence at a security audit meeting held recently. “We have suggested that closed circuit television network be established at major temples and iconic buildings,” Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) M.S. Jaffar Sait said.
Additional Director General of Police (Economic Offences Wing) G. Thilakavathi said it had been suggested to open icon centres for safe custody of antique idols.