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Nod to funds for huts of shrine guards

Gaya, Feb. 18: The personnel deployed to ensure security in and around the World Heritage Mahabodhi Mahavihara would now have their own accommodation arrangement.

The state home department has sanctioned around Rs 2.99 crore for construction of fabricated huts in Bodhgaya. It would provide accommodation to around 300 security personnel either already deployed or to be deployed for security of the Mahavihara and the adjoining areas.

Gaya district magistrate-cum-Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) chairman Balamurugan D. told The Telegraph: The installation work would be carried out by the Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation. The selection of land, where installation would take place is also in the final stage. The land plot has to be finally selected keeping in mind the distance from Mahavihara so that the security personnel spend minimum time in travel.

Fabricated hut is a temporary structure made from different types of plastic, concrete and steel. These structures are designed to ensure easy portability and installation. There is no company in the state with the expertise in this type of installation. Therefore, a tender is likely to be floated to award the work contract.

Since the July 7 serial blasts in Bodhgaya last year, the Mahavihara security has been handed over to the BMP assisted by counter insurgency anti-terrorist squad and the district police. But there is no permanent accommodation arrangement for them. The district magistrate had sent letter to the home department after the serial blasts requesting arrangement to accommodate the security personnel.

Since the BMP jawans took over security of the Mahavihara in the end of July last year they were housed in Nyingma monastery but they had to vacate the place during Pitripaksh Mela in September to provide accommodation to the pilgrims arriving to perform pinddaan rituals. They had to shift to the Magadh University campus. Now, they have been once again housed in the Nyingma monastery. Some securitymen took up rented houses in and around Bodhgaya.

Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nishant Tiwary told The Telegraph that at present, there are more than 200 security personnel, including men and women, deployed in security of the Mahavihara. I had requested the police headquarters for deployment of jawans from BMP 3 only because the headquarters of the said battalion is around Bodhgaya. Earlier, jawans from BMP-3, BMP-4 and BMP-10 were getting deployed. The police headquarters has accepted the request and now jawans of only BMP-3 would be deployed at Mahavihara.