The Special Protection Force (SPF), which is entrusted with the task of guarding the historical Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam, has initiated measures to strengthen the security apparatus at the temple complex ahead of the forthcoming Srirama Navami festival slated for April 19.
According to the temple sources, one of the defunct door-frame metal detectors have been replaced with a new one at the temple complex a couple of days ago. Of the four doorframe metal detectors sanctioned to the temple in the past, two are positioned at the entry and exit points of the temple to screen the devotees. As many as 16 CCTV cameras were installed at vantage points in the temple complex a few years ago based on threat perception following intelligence alerts about possible terror attacks on the major temples in the State. Subsequently, the SPF personnel manning the temple security had been provided with four hand-held metal detectors for effectively carrying out anti-sabotage checks in and around the temple.
However, some of the surveillance cameras had remained defunct for want of repairs for several months in the recent past.
Sources said that the cables of one CCTV camera set up at a local sub-temple were damaged during a construction work recently. The incident exposed the deficiencies in overall supervision of the security apparatus. “All the CCTV cameras, barring one at Sri Kashi Vishweshwara Swamy shrine, a sub-temple, had been functioning properly,” said M. Raghunath, Executive Officer, Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple. As many as 10 SPF personnel including two head constables are manning the temple security round-the-clock in different shifts, he said adding that four each doorframe metal detectors and hand-held metal detectors besides 16 surveillance cameras formed the crux of the temple security apparatus.
We have sent a proposal to the authorities concerned for provision of sophisticated safety equipment like hand-held fire extinguishers for strengthening the security system in the temple complex, he said.