Kerala tightens security in key tourist hotspots

With an aim to ensure the safety of the tourists arriving in Kerala, the state police chief Loknath Behera has assured that the tourism police aid centres will be fully functional at key tourists destinations by June 15. The country’s maiden tourism police station had come up in Kerala way back in 2010, but, it failed to cover the major tourist hostspots in the state.

The department has decided to impart adequate training to police personnel so they can be deployed in the newly set up centres. New women civil police officers who have completed training will be also be appointed at the centres.

The police chief has also said that the service and cooperation of various stakeholders like local self-government institutions, hotels, taxi and autorickshaw drivers will be sought for enhancing the safety of the visitors. “However, special instruction has been given to the officials not to violate the privacy of the tourists,” said Behera.

The department will install cameras at the major tourist places. “Cameras will be installed with the help of local self-government bodies and Tourism Department. They won’t be placed in such a way that the privacy of the tourists will be breached,” said the police chief in a statement.

The police will take necessary actions against illegal hotels and Yoga-Ayurveda centres operating in tourist places. Those who are operating with a valid licence will have to submit the details of the occupants on a daily basis. However, the police inspections at hotels and Ayurveda centres will be carried out without causing any discomfort to the tourists. Strict actions would be taken against illegally operating commercial establishments from the vicinity of the tourist places. The street vendors who want to legalise their business should register their names with the police stations concerned using identity cards. The police will request the Tourism Department to make uniforms mandatory for the registered street vendors.

Officers with multilingual skills will be posted in police stations located in major centres. From now on the uniform of tourism police will be changed to Khaki and will be authorised to launch raids in case they come across leads pointing to sale of narcotics. The officers will also be given classes to improve their conversation skills. The police will also launch a mobile app to improve their interface with the tourists and serve them better.