The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tourist code at Santiniketan

Calcutta, July 24: Wiser after the heist of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel, Visva-Bharati authorities have drawn up a set of guidelines for tourists visiting Santiniketan.

The proposed guidelines — part of several recommendations made by a seven-member committee — were discussed at today’s meeting of the varsity executive committee in Calcutta.

Tourists will not have free access to the Rabindra Bhavan museum, library, prayer hall and other protected places in the varsity campus and will be frisked by armed security guards. A special security ring will also be introduced to plug loopholes, varsity officials said.

“The guidelines for tourists have been prepared keeping in mind the values and culture of Santiniketan,” varsity registrar Sunil Kumar Sarkar said this afternoon after the meeting.

A committee of four external experts and three senior officials of the varsity was formed on March 31, immediately after the heist, to suggest ways of tightening security inside the campus. Other measures being contemplated include:

• A three-tier security system of police, in-service watch and ward staff, and outsource security personnel

• Periodic liaison between local police and university

• Installation of an electronic surveillance system, including closed-circuit cameras at all places where valuable art objects are kept

• Physical verification of all art objects after regular intervals

• Introduction of identity cards for students, teachers and non-teaching staff

• Increasing the height of boundary walls of the entire campus

• Illumination at all vulnerable points, especially the museum

• Thorough survey of land owned by the varsity

• Setting up check posts at selected places inside the campus for regulating transport

The recommendations of the panel will be sent to Arjun Singh, the Union human resource development minister.

“Lot of funds will be required to implement the recommendations of the committee. Once the HRD ministry accepts the proposals, we will ask the Centre to allot the funds,” the official said.

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