Archaeology Dept. awaits nod to beef up security

Updated - October 18, 2016 01:12 pm IST

Published - June 20, 2016 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI:

For months, the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department has been waiting in vain to get the nod from the State government to rope in former defence service personnel from Tamil Nadu Ex-Servicemen Corporation (Texco) to be deployed at select protected monuments maintained by the department.

Sources told The Hindu that most of the protected monuments, which are mostly living temples (those are worshipped), and site museums have poor security arrangements, with many of them manned by elderly watchman.

A detailed proposal was sent to the State government long ago on the need to appoint professionals as security men to guard the State’s treasures. As per the proposal, the department requested the State government to sanction at least 36 personnel from Texco at the initial phase to cover important sites based on archaeological significance. The new arrangement, as per the plan, is for round-the-clock security. “So far, there is no word on the security proposal from the government. Currently, our staff monitor monuments and sites during working hours,” a senior officials said. At present, the State Archaeology Department has 14 district archaeological site museums, including Ramalingavilasam in Ramanathapuram, Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace in Madurai, Maratha Site Museum in Thanjavur, Poondi in Tiruvallur and Tirukkoilur in Villupuram.

Apart from this, the department also has 89 protected monuments with Madurai having the highest number of monuments (16), To date, around 45,000 antiques have been registered by the department. Formed in 1986, Texco is a State-owned corporation aimed at providing necessary assistance for rehabilitation of ex-servicemen from the State.

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