VIJAYAWADA: The word security has no meaning at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam (Kanaka Durga temple) in Vijayawada. Any body can walk in and walk out through the existing metal frame detectors at the entrance, which are out of order.
Even though the Kanaka Durga temple sees a huge rush of devotees on weekends and festival days, it is surprising that no attention is paid towards security of the temple and devotees. There is a lack of coordination among security personnel, including the private security guards and local police. It must be noted that recently many devotees complained of theft of valuables. The problem increased during this summer when thousands of devotees visited the temple along with their children. Also, there are several routes on the hillock to enter the temple and there is no system to check the entry and exit of people.
A police outpost is present at the temple which normally has two constables. On Sunday, one head constable and three other constables are deputed in view of the heavy rush. The local police has also deputed 20 Home Guards. Besides, 16 Special Protection Force constables and two head constables guard the temple sanctorum and the strong room, where the temple jewellery and other valuables are stored. Speaking on the security at the Kanaka Durga temple, Vijayawada commissioner of police Amit Garg said the SPF is looking after temple security. He added that if extra security is required, they would depute more policemen.
The executive officer who assumed charge on Sunday admitted that there were some security lapses. He said only six metal detectors were working. He said the door frame metal detectors were under repair and added that presently, Home Guards carried out checking using hand metal detectors. “There are 32 CCTV cameras in the temple but only 20 are functioning,” said the officer.