Mumbai: 11 years on, pillars under Bandra-Worli sea link to get safety nets
Once the new security measure is in place, only a few specific spots between pillars will be kept open for local fishermen to use
Eleven years after a former police chief brought up the issue of it being a possible terror target, the Mumbai police is planning to plug the gaps between the pillars of the Bandra-Worli sea link with safety nets. The police have cited difficulty in patrolling the 5.6km-long bridge as the reason for the move.
While the bridge has a number of security equipment installed on it, nothing much has been done to secure it from below. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior police officer said, "It is difficult to patrol the entire 5.6 km bridge, and considering that it could be a terror target, it has been decided to block the space between the pillars with nets. Only a couple of openings will be left for fishing boats to pass through."
He added, "We have had a word with MSRDC officials. They will soon speak to the local fishermen, too, about the plan." Back in 2008, soon after the terror attacks, the then Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan had written to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) urging it to install high-end security equipment on the sea link, as it had turned into one of the major terror targets in the city.
When contacted, Harishchandra Nakhwa, chairman of Worli Nakhwa Fishermen Society, said, "As of now we have not been informed about any such plan. Anyway the fishermen can pass through only some of the pillars there, as the others are too dangerous due to the presence of rocks under the water. These can be accessed only when the water level rises."
Speaking about the initiative, an MSRDC official said, "In a day or two teams from the MSRDC, Maharashtra Maritime Board and city police will visit the site for inspection. After that we will decide on how to close the gaps between the pillars." Additional Commisioner of Police (south region), Nishith Mishra confirmed the development but refused to divulge any further details regarding the project.
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