Workers with the Vellore City Corporation are raising the existing steel fencing on the perimeter wall of the 16th century granite fort to at least four feet, covering its three-km radius, to prevent trespassers from entering the premises, especially after sunset. This comes after trespassers were noticed loitering on the open space between the moat and the perimeter wall of the fort during the night. The local police alerted the civic body and the ASI, which maintains the protected monument, on the need to have in place a few safety measures to prevent any untoward incident. Due to heavy rain, the moat, which is 29-foot-deep, is brimming with rainwater that gets discharged into it from nearby water channels. “We gave the nod for the work, which is being undertaken by the civic body under the Smart Cities Mission project. Such amenities will enhance the fort as a tourist spot,” said PVNCM Easwar, Senior Conservation Assistant, ASI (Vellore Sub-Circle). Officials said that a tiled walkers’ path was also being laid around the perimeter wall of the fort with regular entry points to the lush lawn on the open space between the wall and the moat. Stainless steel hand railings were also being provided along the three-km-long walkers’ path for the benefit of the visitors to the fort. The lawn area would have seating arrangements at selected spots. At present, installation of LED lights on the perimeter and parapet walls was being carried out by the civic body. Initially, the lights were installed on the carriageway that connects the town with key monuments like Jalakandeswarar temple, church, colonial buildings, Tipu and Hyder Mahals in the fort. Around 100 ornamental lamps with bulbs, each having a capacity of 250 volts, were being installed.
Alongside, ornamental lights were also being fixed at 97 spots on the perimeter wall of the fort. Three lamps with 250 volt bulbs were being fixed in each spot. Work on the installation of around 900 small lamps on the parapet wall was also under way. Currently, offices of Vellore taluk, PWD, District Treasury and Forest Department are located inside the fort, which has a total of 58 colonial buildings, including ‘mahals’, where the Mysore king Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan, spent their years as prisoners with their families at the end of 18th century.