Bhadradri temple security needs to be beefed up
Security cover for the famed Lord Sitaramachandraswamy Temple here should be stepped up by installing more CCTV cameras at vantage points, including the Mada streets, in and around the temple.
Bhadrachalam: Security cover for the famed Lord Sitaramachandraswamy Temple here should be stepped up by installing more CCTV cameras at vantage points, including the Mada streets, in and around the temple. However, the district administration is turning a blind eye to this vital aspect despite recommendations from the police.
To rule out any untoward incident from taking place and to keep a watchful eye on people visiting the temple, the police proposed to install CCTVs at crucial places, erection of barricades in the vicinity of the temple, allowing only VIP vehicles up to the temple, erection of a solar fencing on the temple walls and submitted a report listing out the security measures to the higher authorities in 2004-05.
The report seems to have been kept aside. The police and temple authorities came under severe criticism as preliminary security measures are inadequate at the temple In the light of terrorist threat to Hindu temples, a group of elite commando force Octopus visited the temple and made several suggestions to the temple authorities. It recommended that there should be only one entrance and exit route to the temple and nobody should be allowed through other routes or gates.
According to the prevailing situation in the temple, the directions are far from being implemented. In 2003, 12 CCTV cameras were installed in the first phase. Later, four more were installed since the first-installed cameras did not work satisfactorily. Over a period of time, the number of CCTV cameras installed increased to 36. Of them, only half are working satisfactorily. The Mada streets of the temple devasthanam have no CCTV
According to temple authorities, the lone CCTV camera installed at Bhakta Ramdas idol is not functional fully. Therefore, there is a need to put the Mada streets under more CCTV surveillance. Petty traders complain of poor lighting at night time in the vicinity of the temple. Another CCTV camera is required on the flood bank, while the one at the Kalyana Mantap should be replaced with a more efficient one.
In Telugu states, the temples have been booking accommodation on the strength of identity cards, issued by the government, provided by pilgrims. But in Bhadrachalam, the accommodation is being booked banking on the information provided by them orally, including their mobile numbers. The authenticity of the information is doubtful.
The devasthanam officials have no answer to the question as to who should be held accountable if anything goes wrong. The residents of the temple town want the official machinery to clearly understand the priority for temple security and implement foolproof security measures.
Talking to The Hans India, the temple Executive Officer T Ramesh Babu said orders have been issued to engineering department officials on installation of CCTV cameras in Mada streets. Similarly, the temple staff has been instructed to seek identity issued by the government from pilgrims before booking accommodation. He made it clear that departmental action would be initiated against those who violate the directions.
By PV Satyanarayana