Flawed boats were used for Obama's security

29 November,2010 06:40 AM IST |   |  Rinkita Gurav

The hi-tech boats deployed at Girgaum Chowpatty for securing the US President were not working while he was in town

The hi-tech boats deployed at Girgaum Chowpatty for securing the US President were not working while he was in town

For all that the city police put you through, in its quest to secure the US President*s visit, it turns out that the force got somewhat lax itself while fortifying the coastal front.

Two Mumbai Police patrolling boats, deployed for the US President*s security, stopped working as soon as they were deployed at Girgaum Chowpatty. They have been lying unused since then.

The Mumbai Police patrolling boats were acquired for coastal security after the 26/11 terror attacks

The Sealegs Amphibious Marine Crafts, powerboats capable of operating on both land and water, were acquired from the eponymous international firm for coastal security after 26/11 and stationed at Juhu and Versova last year.

For Obama*s visit, they had been re-positioned at Girgaum, along with another Sealegs boat, the only functional one.

Though, only to make up for another of the hi-tech boats that guards Mahim, which was also dysfunctional at the time.

"Mumbai Police brought in the two Sealegs from Juhu and Versova to use them for Obama*s security but they weren*t working properly," said a police official.

He further added that the front wheel of the Sealegs from Juhu was not working so it had to be replaced, while the Versova Sealegs had an internal fault.

The boats have been lying near the Girgaum Chowpatty Police Station for a month. A resident of the Koli village in Mahim said, "The Mumbai Police boat was brought in last year.
It stopped functioning due to a problem in the engine and had been lying in the shed for more than a month. It got fixed just two days back and has begun working now."

Hi-Tech sealegs

Mumbai Police bought in four high-tech boats known as Sealegs Amphibious Marine Crafts for patrolling the city*s seacoast after the 26/11 attack.

The amphibious vehicle, built to sustain under any conditions, costs Rs 40 lakh. It can travel at over 40 knots on water and over 10 kph on land.

It is built up in such a way that it allows for prolonged functioning in hot and humid climate as well as flood operations.

Four such vessels were deployed on the beaches of Girgaum, Mahim, Juhu and Versova.

The Other Side

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Port zone), Quaiser Khalid, said, "The boats were brought in during US President Obama*s visit.

Only one of them had a problem, the other one was working fine. The servicing takes time and the servicing agency is fixing it up."

He also said that the boats do not have a fixed station they are moved every now and then.

Rs 40 lakh
The cost of one Sealeg u00a0amphibian marine craft

hi-tech boats Girgaum Chowpatty Obama security mumbai
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