Green Police to Help Tourists in Karnataka

To provide more protection to tourists, Karnataka Tourism launched 'green police' on Monday. This force will keep round-the-clock vigil for tourists at 30 destinations across the state.

The volunteers -- 145 of them -- were recruited on Monday. They will receive basic training in law and enforcement, including weapons training, apart from search and rescue missions.

Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa said this force will prevent crimes against international tourists and act as a liaison between them and local authorities.

"Safety and security of tourists is top priority," Yeddyurappa said.

The green police is not an alternative to the existing police force. The former will be posted at key tourist destinations, and the volunteers will coordinate with regular police in case of complaints by tourists. However, the green police itself won't have the power or authority to take action against offenders. For this, they will have to seek help from the state police.

Two to four green police personnel will be posted depending on the requirement of each tourist destination. Home Guards DGP Jija Madhavan Harisingh said the personnel are talented and well-educated. "But they were previously unemployed. Now, they can make things easy for tourists by coordinating with local agencies," she added.

While Home Guards personnel are between 18 and 55 years, a relatively same rule will be followed for the green police -- provided they are physically fit. For their effort, they will get of Rs 5,200.

Tourism director Viswanatha Reddy said the tourism department will soon launch a tourism helpline. Kiosks are also planned. "This helpline can alert the green police of any complaint," Reddy said.