Tirupati temple may get UAV surveillanceBy IANS
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
BANGALORE - The country’s richest shrine at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh may get unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance as part of security enhancement plans for the temple which is visited by thousands of devotees daily, a temple official said Tuesday.
A two kg, battery-operated surveillance UAV, designed and developed by a Bangalore-based firm, was test-flown during the Navaratri Brahmotsavam (held for nine days Oct 8-16 during the Navaratri) at the hill shrine, M.K. Singh, chief vigilance officer of the temple, told IANS.
The aerial surveillance was conducted for 45 minutes and results are satisfactory, he said over phone from Tirupati.
“A year ago, the TTD (Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam) management decided to beef up security of the temple by monitoring the areas around it. This is part of the plan,” Singh said.
The UAV flown during the festival was only a technological demonstration.
“The results are positive,” Singh added.
The UAV can monitor the movement of people in and around the shrine and help nab ‘anti-social elements’, Singh said.
The security beef-up plan follows frequent reports quoting intelligence agencies that the temple, frequented by leading personalities from politics, industry, business and film world, could be on the radar of militant outfits.
The UAV can capture visuals within a radius of nine km. “We have three entry points to the temple and the UAV will assist us in regulating the flow of devotees,” Singh said.
After the successful experimentation with helium balloon during the Brahmotsavam in September this year, the TTD considered the proposal of using the highly sophisticated UAV for further strengthening its security, he said.