3 October 2008

Temple Crowd Management

We have all been saddened by the news of tragic incidents at Temples in this country and for this reason feel it relevant and important to give some feedback from the police authorities about security systems undertaken at our own Arunachaleswarar Temple here at Tiruvannamalai. The following extract was put out by local State news organisations:

“The police force in Tamil Nadu have devised scientific methods to manage crowds — be it at Temples or otherwise. In Temples, particularly during festive occasions, the police work in close co-ordination with Temple authorities to monitor the movement of devotees and rush in at the first sign of possible disorderliness.

Perhaps the explaination of the rarity of stampedes in Temples in Tamil Nadu is that whenever there is a huge gathering of devotees, police use modern gadgets to monitor the crowd movement and never allow the concentration of people beyond a level at one point. In many Temples, CCTV cameras are installed to check that people do not cluster at any point.

The three methods devised by police for crowd management are: Spatial segregation, time segregation, and structural stability. “We first find the space availability of the Temple and the average time a devotee takes for performing the rituals. Based on that we enforce security,” said the local Superintendent of Police.

“For instance, if three lakh devotees (i.e. 300,000) visit Arunachaleswar Temple in Tiruvanamalai for Deepam festival, we would allow them in queues and barricades would be placed to control the devotees’ movement,” adding. “The inflow and outflow of the crowd would be monitored through CCTV cameras.” He further said that barricades play a decisive role in crowd management. ”


Divya said...

It is eye-opening to realize the authorities actually have very precise measures to keep the crowds under control! Yea Tamil Nadu!

Meenakshi Ammal said...

The thing is often the barrier are the problems - because they prevent people from moving and sometimes they get squashed up against them.

There didn't use to be barriers at the Big Temple - but they are constantly in use during Full Moon - such large crowds waiting for Darshan at the major shrines.