The Maharashtra State Board of Waqfofficials have decided to beef up security at the historic Panchakki, the 18th Century water mill, by installing CCTV cameras and increasing in the number of guards. Incidentally, the Waqf Board is headquartered in the Panchakki complex. The state ATS team paid a surprise visit to Panchakki on Wednesday morning and conducted a mock drill, catching the waqf authorities and tourists by surprise. Following the mock drill, the ATS officials instructed the Wakf authorities to take adequate security measures, including installation of CCTV cameras.
Waqf CEO Sayyed Aejaz Husain told TOI, "At the conclusion of the security and anti-terror drill conducted by the ATS team, the sleuths asked us to increase the security at the premises and also install CCTV cameras. They cited a possible threat to the historical monument of Panchakki, which records scores of tourists from across the globe. Taking into consideration the feedback given by the ATS officials, we have decided to install CCTV cameras and also increase the security at the premises." Husain said soon the entire premises will be brought under the surveillance of CCTV cameras and all the measures suggested by the ATS would be implemented. He refused to divulge further details of the feedback citing security reasons.
ATS superintendent of police (rest of Maharashtra) Navinchandra Reddy played down the alert and said the drill is part of the preparations following a general alert. Reddy said, "Security drills are being conducted at all the significant places including tourist spots following a general alert. And after each drill, feedback is being given to the authorities to take preventive measures at that particular location and site.
Panchakki has its own underground water channel (Naher). The whole system is a typical example of medieval engineering. The source of water is situated about 8 km north of the city. Water reaches the final reservoir through earthen pipes. It is then raised by a siphon to the top of the rectangular masonry pillar, from where it is made to fall in the large reservoir below. In the north-west corner, adjacent to the cistern, is the water mill driven entirely by the water power. It is said that in the olden days, flour was obtained for the people from the mill without human effort. It was built in the year 1744. News source - TOI