To tighten security at the Swargate bus depot, the police have installed a vigilance tower there. Two gunmen now keep an eye out for suspicious activities at the stand from their vantage point.
After the JM Road serial bomb blasts, Swargate was declared a sensitive area. So far there were eight guards of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and four policemen deployed at the bus depot. The additional two guards now are stationed atop the vigilance tower at the depot round the clock.
“Our eight guards are available during the day time, but the police are available during the night also,” Swargate depot manager Vijay Divate said. “After the blasts, we got instructions to take necessary steps for security. This initiative is taken by the Swargate police station and will help increase security measures.”
Recently the MSRTC board of directors had shown their inability to install CCTV cameras at the main bus stands of the city. MSRTC officials said security was not their responsibility.
“We are here to provide better transport service,” an official said. “Security is the responsibility of state government or the police. The cost of CCTV is very high. It requires four full-time employees to monitor and record footage. We cannot afford installation and maintenance of CCTVs. We have told the state government to provide funds and a separate organisation for the CCTVs.” Divate said they were doing as much as they could in the situation.
“From our side we are providing eight security guards, which is sufficient,” he said. “There is a proposal to have a boom barrier gate at the main entrance that will automatically open and close by detecting sensors on MSRTC buses, but we think it is not practical because two to three buses pass the gate every minute. In one minute, the gate will have to open and close again and again. We have suggested alternative arrangements for the main gate, but things are not finalised yet.”