Bhanu P Lohumi
Shimla, January 14
Temple premises and periphery areas of all five shaktipeeths in Himachal, namely Chintpurni, Brajeshwari Mata, Chamunda Devi, Naina Devi and Jwalaji temple, would be brought under CCTV surveillance for better management of crowd and traffic and foolproof security of temples.
Replicating best practices
The projects will be funded by the temple trusts. The idea is to replicate best practices, including security systems, protocol and technologies used by Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam in Andhra Pradesh. Sanjay Kundu, DGP
“We have written to the respective Deputy Commissioners for installation of cameras on the temple campus and the surroundings. The projects would be funded by the temple trusts”, said DGP Sanjay Kundu adding that the idea is to replicate best practices, including security systems, protocol and technologies used by Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam (TTD), Andhra Pradesh, one of the biggest Hindu temples in the world which handles a large number of pilgrims daily.
“There have been cases of stampede and theft of ancient idols and other valuable items from temples in the past and bringing science in management with inclusion of modern techniques and best practices would be helpful in avoiding such incidents, besides help maintain better law and order in the future”, Kundu maintained.
As many as 220 cameras would be installed in three phases in Chintpurni temple which has the highest footfall in the state. The approval for installation of 64 automatic number plate reading (ANPR) cameras and pan-tilt-zoom cameras in the temple at a cost of about Rs 2.5 crores in the first phase is awaited, said SP Una Arjit Sen.
In the second and third phases 120 and 36 cameras would be installed in the inner and outer circle (periphery area) and border entry points. The project envisages setting up of an integrated command and control centre integrating ANPR cameras, CCTVs and drone cameras for which the proposal has been forwarded. To ensure security, SHO Chintpurni has been designated as the temple security officer. Earlier the security was managed by police, home guard and private security guards.
A large number of pilgrims visit temple during fairs and at the weekend. CCTV surveillance system would be beneficial in managing rush, besides allocating parking space. The third eye would also keep a check on anti-social elements, Sen maintained.
Similarly, Naina Devi Temple has been divided into nine sectors and cameras have been installed in 3-4 sectors. A proposal has been submitted for installation of cameras in all sectors and setting up of command and control centres.
It may be recalled that two major stampedes at Naina Devi temple in 1983 and 2008 had claimed over 200 lives.
Besides, a large number of ancient temples and five shaktipeeths, Himachal is also home to Dalai Lama and several Buddhist monasteries like Tabo and Key Monastery, Dalai Lama main temple, Buddha temple at Rewalsar and Kardang Monastery. Lakhs of devotees visit these religious places round the year.