The Baidyanath Dham shrine board has introduced a unique biometric 'access card system' this Shravani Mela to track a devotee’s movement live right from the time of his entry and exit from the temple campus.
The system has been introduced in view of security and intelligence alert against a possible terrorist threat to Baidyanath Dham during Shravani Mela.
The one-month long religious fair got off to a traditional start at Deoghar, about 200 km from state capital Ranchi, on Sunday.
The biometric card will not only help security agencies keep a track of a devotee’s movement but also his quick spotting through biometric details leading to his real identification and location in case of an eventuality, board sources said.
The WiFi-enabled system, connected through optical fibre and V – SAT devices ,will cover the area till the Dham’s sanctum sanctorum where devotees offer water to the deity.
The control room at the exit and entry gates will soon come to know if the devotee overstays or digresses into undesignated location. This will activate the quick response team to catch hold of the digresser. However, sources said the possibility of such digression is less as the devotees will be in a queue and the moment they are done with jalarpanam (water offering), they will be guided towards the exit by the security personnel.
Last year, the board had introduced the time-slot entry system. In which a devotee was given an electronic device for Rs. 10 at the entry gate at a particular time. But, due to technical snags, it couldn’t work and was eventually dumped this year.
"The biometric system is meant to maintain the gathering of devotees as well as the law and order across the shrine city. Every devotee will be under real-time watch. It will also keep an actual count of the number of devotees within the premises," said the Deoghar deputy commissioner and the Vaidyanath Dham shrine board secretary Amit Kumar.
"Unlike the Time slot management system for which the devotees were charged Rs. 10, this access card is available 'free of charge", Kumar added.