Sniffer dogs, handheld bomb detectors to secure Metro I

The first stage of Mumbai’s big-league metro project will be consummated with the expected launch of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) stretch in January, and officials have adopted a hard-nosed approach to seal the safety of the network and its commuters. Accordingly, this will be the first metro system in the world with dedicated sniffer dogs and handheld explosive detectors (HEDs) at each station. Also, plainclothes security guards will be positioned inside and outside the stations.

A sniffer dog at a Delhi Metro station. File pic

¬†To formulate ground plans for high-tech security along the VAG corridor, officials visited and studied metro rail projects around the world. The idea was to learn and introduce the best practices. The delegates inspected Indian Railways, Delhi Metro, Kolkata Metro and Mumbai suburban trains, apart from London Tube, New York City Subway, Metro de Madrid, Tokyo Metro, Métro de Paris, Hong Kong’s MTR, Singapore’s MRT, Taipei Rapid Transit System, Stockholm metro, Berlin U-Bahn, Shanghai Metro, Beijing Subway, among other such networks.

“Our vision to keep security and safety as top priority since the inception of the project has facilitated us in taking care of minute details. The security of Mumbai Metro One is not just a practical, but also a judicious amalgamation of manpower and technology at its best. It gives us immense pleasure that we will set up the finest practices of security in the coming times,” a spokesperson of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) said.

While drawing up a safety plan, MMOPL, during its study, also interviewed various agencies, including Mumbai police. Various security vulnerabilities were also taken into consideration, like the huge passenger flow, multiple access points for entry and exit at stations, the levels inside the stations and open-system station, etc.

There will also be 700 real-time CCTV cameras inside the stations to monitor proceedings and keep an eye out for suspicious activities. X-ray scanners are being installed at each station for thorough checking of passengers’ bags. Apart from the plainclothes security personnel, armed security guards will also be deployed at strategic points of stations, and the control rooms will also be equipped with trained security personnel.

Out of harm’s way
Other important aspects of the VAG metro corridor security:
>> Each station will have well-equipped security controllers with monitors
>> Each control room will have security controllers round the clock
>> There will be provision for hotlines and radio systems to contact police and other emergency relief agencies
>> Stations have been designed with clear line-of-sight, so that there are no blind spots where explosives can be placed

Rs 4,320 cr
Approximate cost of the Metro VAG line

No of CCTV cameras installed at stations 

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