Hyderabad: Security will soon be beefed up at all the historical monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) across the country, including in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh.
ASI, which is facing a massive problem with theft of rare artefacts from its museums and monuments, is all set to hire 2,131 private security personnel for the five regions in the country — Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western — including 555 to be posted at major monuments in the south.
There are over 3,650 ancient monuments and archaeological sites of national importance. These date back to different periods ranging from the prehistoric to the colonial. They include temples, mosques, tombs, churches, cemeteries, forts, palaces, stepwells, rock-cut caves and secular architecture. They are being maintained by various circles of ASI across the state, including the Hyderabad circle in TS and the Amravati Circle in AP.
The ASI Tender Evaluation Committee received 18 bids from six private security agencies, including four in the Southern region which covers AP, TS, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa.
“There is a requirement of 555 security personnel, including 385 without arms and 170 with arms and security guards for deployment at monuments of the ASI in six southern states. Four firms submitted bids. The process is on,” a source in the ASI said.
Major ASI monuments in TS are Charminar, Golconda, the prehistoric site at Janampet, Khammam, an ancient mound at Kondapur, the Alampur temples in Gadwal-Jogulamba district, the Thousand-Pillar Temple, Hanamkonda the gateways in Warangal among others.
For the maintenance of these monuments and archaeological sites, ASI has formed 24 circles in the country. The organisation has a large workforce of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphists and scientists for conducting archaeological research through these circles and security is of the utmost importance, the ASI source said.