Mahabodhi temple security to cost Rs.5 mn monthly
Patna, Aug 14 : Bihar is set to spend Rs.5 million each month for the deployment of 261 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya that was rocked by blasts July 7, officials said.
The CISF has recommended deployment of 261 personnel for security of the temple that will cost the state exchequer Rs.50 lakh monthly towards salaries, pension funds, logistics and accommodation.
"We are waiting for the final communication from the union home ministry as the CISF has already sent a survey report for deployment of its personnel at the temple to the headquarters in New Delhi," state Home Secretary Amir Subhani said.
The 1,500-year-old temple, Buddhism's holiest shrine, was rocked by a string of bomb blasts last month.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the incident but is yet to make a breakthrough.
Last month, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterating that the state government was prepared to meet the expenses on deploying CISF personnel at the temple.
Nitish Kumar had demanded CISF cover for Bodh Gaya temple a day after the explosions.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde approved the CISF cover as a special consideration. The decision was taken as the Maha Bodhi temple is an World Heritage Site and attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists.
The temple is located at the site where the Buddha, born in neighbouring Nepal, is believed to have attained enlightenment under a banyan tree around 2,500 years ago. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2002.