Three months after terrorists attacked the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya, the Centre on Wednesday decided to sanction Rs 16.77 crore for beefing up security and installing high-tech surveillance equipment in temple complexes in Mathura and Varanasi and the Taj Mahal.
The decision is based on the recommendations of an expert committee set up by the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to review security arrangements at Ayodhya and the other three places following the terrorist strike.
The Centre accepted the recommendations of the committee that a total of Rs 19.91 crore will be needed to carry out security-related construction work and install sophisticated gadgets, including high-power cameras, to maintaining a close vigil at these sensitive religious sites, a Home Ministry spokesman said.
Of the Rs 19.91 crore, the UP government will shell out Rs 3.14 crore.
The scheme for strengthening the security apparatus at Ayodhya, Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Mosque complex at Mathura, Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyan Vapi Mosque at Varanasi and the Taj Mahal in Agra was reviewed at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary V K Duggal.
Besides Duggal, UP Chief Secretary Neera Yadav, Archeological Survey of India Director General C Babu Rajeev, CRPF DG J K Sinha, CISF DG S I S Ahmed and top Central and State government officials.
The expenditure for the disputed structure in Ayodhya, estimated at about Rs 7.5 crore, would be met under a special scheme fully sponsored by the Centre.
Security expenditure for the remaining three complexes would be financed under the Police Modernisation Scheme over and above the existing allocations.
CRPF, CISF and UP Police presence at all four sites will be substantially enhanced.
The spokesman said the state government officials have asked to ensure time-bound implementation of the security scheme and have been given an account of the immediate measures to be initiated to upgrade the apparatus.
Union Home Secretary Duggal told the officials that there was a need for various Central and State security agencies to undertake coordinated action and maintain a high degree of alertness at these complexes.
Security arrangements for these four complexes were reviewed shortly after the July 5 terror strike, by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Duggal and top officials. Thereafter, the expert committee was set up by the Centre and UP Government.