A special security consultancy wing CISF has been roped in by the government to analyse and determine the safety and surveillance requirements for the Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor and the temple complex in Varanasi, official sources said. The Union home ministry recently directed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to undertake the task after the Uttar Pradesh government sought the services of the ”professional security and fire consultancy service” provided by the force which is primarily responsible for guarding major civil airports and vital installations of the country.
A team of the CISF consultancy wing is currently undertaking the survey at the Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor and the temple complex on the banks of river Ganga in Varanasi, the sources said.
The team will prepare a report on the security requirements of the entire temple complex and will suggest required manpower and smart gadgets to better secure the premises and ensure proper surveillance, a senior officer told PTI.
Experts of the force will prepare an overall anti-sabotage plan for the temple complex keeping in mind the fact it is thronged by lakhs of pilgrims each month, he said. The plan will also pinpoint layout for CCTV cameras deployment, location of security posts, assembling point, fire safety gadgets placement among other such requirements within the temple and the corridor complex, the officer said.
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This service provided by the CISF is made on a cost basis and as per officials, the expenses for providing security and fire consultancy for a large complex like the Kashi Vishwanath should cost the state government around Rs 18.75 lakh. The Kashi Vishwanath temple premises is already guarded by an armed unit of the CRPF. However, the security survey will suggest professional ways to secure the entire temple and corridor complex in a uniform manner, the sources said. The first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor, developed at a cost of about Rs 339 crore, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13 last year. The corridor aims to facilitate and create an easy pathway for pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva who had to take a meandering route via congested streets while they performed the age-old custom of taking dip in the Ganga river, collecting its water and offering it at the temple.
A total of 23 buildings were inaugurated by the PM in the phase one of the project. These included ‘yatri suvidha kendras’, tourist facilitation centre, vedic kendra, mumukshu bhavan, bhogshala, city museum, viewing gallery, food court among others.
The CISF security consultancy wing was created in 1999 through an amendment in the CISF Act and it has provided specialised tips of this domain to more than 213 government, semi-government and private establishments till now. These include the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, the under-construction Ram temple in Ayodhya, NATGRID offices in Delhi and Bengaluru, Infosys campuses in Chandigarh, Jaipur and other cities, the Kanpur Metro establishment, the RBI central office in Mumbai and the central jail in Bhopal among others.
The wing provides services like threat perception and risk analysis, access control and perimeter protection, assessment of manpower requirements, crowd control and mangement procedures and crisis management schemes.