Jammu: Closed-circuit television cameras will
be installed soon in the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi as
well as on the route and base camp of the popular pilgrimage
spot that had always remained on terrorist radar.
The CCTVs will be installed to ensure fool-proof security
for the shrine, the Bangang-Bhawan route and the base camp of
Katra town, Katra Superintendent of Police Shiv Kumar Sharma
said. The cameras will help keep an eye on suspicious
activity as a preventive measure against any possible
terrorist attack, he said.
Vaishnodevi shrine, located in Trikuta hills in Jammu and
Kashmir, is the second busiest shrine in the country after
Tirupati temple with over 80 lakh pilgrims visiting it
annually. Over 20,000-30,000 people pilgrims visit the shrine
Under the project, 35 CCTV cameras would be installed at
Katra and en route the shrine with two monitoring centres
being set up at Katra police station and Bhawan police
station, police officials said. Bhawan is the place where the
shrine is located.
A police headquarter team had conducted survey for the
points for installation of CCTV cameras for a week and
prepared a full project report keeping the threat perception
and tactical points in view.
Some of the points which have been identified for
installation of cameras were Banganga, Charanpadika, Himkoti,
Ardhkuwari, Sanjichat, Bhawan, Katra Bus Stand and Yatra
A team of CCTV installation experts recently arrived in
Katra and started their work, they said, adding that the entire
work would be completed in a period of one month.
The 13-km distance from Katra to Bhawan is lit up with
710 powerful sodium lamps while parapet walls and railings set
up along the track also take care of safety and security
aspects. The shrine already has a three-tier round-the-clock
security setup of Army, CRPF and police.
Surpassing previous pilgrim arrival records, Vaishnodevi
had set a new milestone last year with over 82.05 lakh people
thronging the cave shrine.