Green Police to Aid Tourists

BANGALORE: The Tourism Department will be deploying an exclusive security agency - the Green Police - across 30 tourist destinations to ensure the safety and security of tourists visiting the State.

The State Government decided to raise such an exclusive security agency after cases of robbery and attacks on tourists, including molestation, had been reported from different parts of the State. To begin with, a 150-strong team would provide an extra layer of security for the tourists at key destinations in the State.

The Green Police personnel, who can be identified by their separate uniforms, will be deployed at places of tourist interest in Badami, Aihole and Mysore, besides places of tourist interest in the Western Ghats and the beaches. Though Green Police personnel have no authority or power to take action against culprits, they will act as coordinators of security between tourists and the nearest police station.

First in country
Launching the Green Police team at a simple function in front of Vidhana Soudha on Monday, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said the agency, comprising ex-servicemen and Home Guards, was the first such security agency in the country raised to protect tourists.

He said the Green Police should be able to instil a sense of security among the domestic and international tourists visiting different tourist spots in the State. "We hope the initiative helps promote tourism in the State," he said.

Home Minister V.S. Acharya said Green Police personnel, who would be deployed for round-the-clock vigil at tourist destinations, will serve the tourists as "friend, philosopher and guide". However, the State police will not shy away from the responsibility of providing fullest possible security for tourists, especially international tourists, Dr. Acharya said.

"The help we receive from the Green Police will be of great value since they are going to be deployed round the clock," he said.

Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy sought to make it clear that the Green Police will not be an alternative to the existing State police.

"The Green Police will only complement the State police so as to be of better help to tourists, who face any problem," he said.

Tourism Secretary K. Jothiramalingam, Director-General of Police (Home Guards) Jija Madhavan Harisingh and Tourism Director Viswanatha Reddy were also present on the occasion.