Vision barriers to safeguard oil depots from terrorist eyes

Taking note of concerns raised by petroleum industries that oil depots located at the Wadala-Sewree Complex along the elevated portion of the Eastern Freeway, connecting South Mumbai with Ghatkopar, could become easy targets for terrorists, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) would be installing vision barriers at three locations on a 3-km-long stretch of the freeway at a cost of Rs 2.68 crore.

The Eastern Freeway passes through oil depots located at Wadala-Sewree Complex, which could become easy targets for terrorists. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The MMRDA would be installing the vision barriers at two locations on the southbound carriageway of the bridge and at one location on the northbound carriageway. Installation of the barriers is a part of the Anti-Terrorism Measures, and the barriers would be three meters tall.

Confirming the development, MMRDA Executive Engineer Jaywant Dhane said, “As there are several installations along the Eastern Freeway corridor, there was a demand from the oil companies and the police department that we should install vision barriers at three locations so that motorists using the freeway cannot see these installations. The work is in progress and we have already installed the frame. Barriers will be installed soon.”

Written appeal
In October 2010, a leading petroleum company wrote to MMRDA Superintendent Engineer (copy available with MiD DAY) stating that there was a need for installing vision barriers on the freeway.

The letter read: As the construction of the freeway is being executed by the MMRDA, the same is passing across most of the petroleum installations in Wadala-Sewree Complex. Police officials have already mentioned about the security threat from terrorist attacks on vital petroleum installations.

They also mentioned that these oil industries could be easily targeted using hand grenades by terrorists, which will have an adverse impact on day-to-day life in the city and its surroundings. In its reply to the petroleum company, MMRDA officials stated that the firm should pay for installation of vision barriers to the MMRDA.

On the southbound carriageway, vision barriers would be installed on a 2.3-km-long stretch between Sewree station and Mahul toll plaza. On the same carriageway, barriers would be installed on a 150-metre-stretch near the Orange Gate in South Mumbai. On the northbound carriageway, vision barriers would be installed on a 700-meter-stretch between VEG oil junction and Mahul toll plaza. 

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