KERALA, INDIA, May 22, 2014 (The Hindu): Kerala police have mooted the urgent establishment of a no-fly zone over Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple to render the landmark shrine and its hoard of antique treasures stored in ancient subterranean vaults "impregnable" to airborne threats. Officials say the police have recommended that flying of kites be prohibited in the proposed no-fly zone to prevent any attempt at kite aerial photography, a relatively new technique of taking above the ground pictures using remote-controlled cameras rigged to the kites.
The police have based their proposal, which in the face of it seems more than necessary, on the possibility that non-State actors could use jury-rigged kites for covert surveillance of the area or, in a worst case security scenario, attempt an airborne sabotage operation on the temple's structure. Once the proposal comes through, possibly after discussions with and the concurrence of the Indian Air Force and civil aviation authorities, a special zone name will be accorded for the temple area and it will be notified on aeronautical charts so that pilots would know and identify in advance the area over which they are not allowed to fly.
Officials say a similar no-fly zone exists over the Tirumala Venkateswara temple in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The Taj Mahal in Agra, the Tower of Silence in Mumbai, and Parliament House are also covered by similar zones along with refineries, nuclear installations and other strategically important assets.