Mumbai: 600 posts of BMC guards still vacant

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) attempt to beef up security in its establishments after 26/11 is still incomplete. More than 600 senior as well as junior posts of guards and security officials are vacant and recruitment is going on at a snail’s pace.

The civic body also faces a constant dearth of security staff. There was no security guard or police officer outside the headquarters yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
The civic body also faces a constant dearth of security staff. There was no security guard or police officer outside the headquarters yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

Although most civic offices have CCTVs, civic hospitals are yet to get additional cameras as promised – this is especially important since terrorists had attacked Cama hospital back then. Other measures that had been announced, including a no parking zone near the civic headquarters, have also not been implemented.

Post 26/11, the BMC announced a slew of measures to be undertaken. These included installation of CCTVs, scanners, metal detectors, beefing up security, training personnel in advanced security measures, disallowing car parking near the BMC and many more.

Some of the more ambitious measures included creating a bomb disposal squad and a firing range at the Bhandup complex. However, the proposal for the Bhandup firing range was shelved for security reasons, as there shouldn’t be a firing range near a water treatment plant.

But seven years since, some of these measures have not seen the light of day. While all civic offices were immediately dotted with CCTV cameras, not all civic hospitals have this facility. Having cameras in hospitals is also important due to increasing cases of doctors being attacked by patient's kin.

“We are now in the process of installing cameras at municipal hospitals. These will be in addition to those that are already there. The damaged ones will be replaced,” informed Ashok Patil, chief security officer of the BMC. Patil refused to divulge how many cameras will be installed and in which hospitals.

The civic body also faces a constant dearth of security staff, since many of them opt for clerical jobs, as allowed after 7 years of service. The BMC has now invited applications for 43 posts of security officers, while 633 guards will be recruited over a period of time. “These posts are yet to have administrative approval, following which applications will be invited,” said Patil.

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