Thiruvananthapuram

Aerial surveillance for Attukal pongala

Women devotees offering pongala at the Attukal Bhagavathy temple.

Women devotees offering pongala at the Attukal Bhagavathy temple.  

Residents’ associations to deploy volunteers

Aerial surveillance will form a key component of the tight security scheme that has been chalked out by the Kerala Police for the Attukal pongala day on February 20.

Thiruvananthapuram city police have ensured the availability of at least three drones with more kept on standby for deployment if the need arises. The temple periphery and the adjacent areas, which are expected to witness huge crowds, will come under the aerial surveillance. The drone cameras which were deployed for the pongala last year on a trial basis were found to have boosted vigil in the region.

District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram city) S. Surendran said that women police personnel will form a sizeable group this year among the around 3,500-strong security force. They will be deployments from the Women Battalion and Women Commando unit to add to the existing women police strength in the city police.

Additional deployments will also be made from the Armed Reserve, Special Armed Police camps and various units from other districts.

Ten Cobra patrol teams of motorcycle-borne police officers will commence a round-the-clock surveillance in the area on Tuesday, when the Attukal pongala festival commences at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple.

1,000 volunteers

Mr. Surendran added that the security arrangements will be supplemented by at least 1,000 volunteers, provided by residents associations in the city. At a recent Janamaithri meeting, the associations assured the officer that they would identify 15 – 25 volunteers each to support the police in handling traffic and maintaining law and order during pongala.

Besides, a special squad of enforcement agencies including the city police, Fire and Rescue service, and Food and Safety officials has been constituted.

Around 100 fire-extinguisher points, one every 100 metres, have been planned along the route where devotees will make the ‘pongala’ offering.

Regional Fire Officer (RFO), Thiruvananthapuram, M. Nousad, said that around 500 officers will be deployed as part of fire safety precautions on the particular day. The efforts will be led by the Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam RFOs. Over five fire-fighting bikes, equipped with cylinders containing water mist, will be deployed to handle any exigencies. As many as ten mini-water mist tenders and 20 water tenders will also be stationed at various points. There will be two units stationed at the temple premises from Tuesday onwards.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:10:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/aerial-surveillance-for-attukal-pongala/article26231924.ece

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