Mumbai: Security to be beefed up at Mantralaya after 3 suicide attempts
The Mantralaya mandarins seem to have woken up from deep slumber, after successive suicide attempts by visitors to it rocked the state
A man who threatened to jump off Mantralaya in November 2017. Tenders will be floated soon for procuring modern machines and equipment to increase its security. File pic
The Mantralaya mandarins seem to have woken up from deep slumber, after successive suicide attempts by visitors to it rocked the state. The administration wants Mantralaya to turn into a high-security fortress, where modern technology and trained manpower will prevent any untoward incident.
Security agencies like the Mumbai Police have always asked for modern gadgets such as seamlessly working scanners, trained manpower, a highly sensitive peripheral and in-house close circuit camera network, but in vain.
Need for a new set up
However, sources said the administration has realised the need to bring in a new set up that will control access and manage visitors. It will not only secure visitors, but also look after the very important persons.
Security measures were enhanced after a series of terror attacks in the past decade, but the equipment procured in the past does not function properly mainly because of maintenance issues. There have been attempts to secure the boundary of Mantralaya, but it still remains a larger concern.
Three suicide attempts in the past 15 days, of which one was successful, have put the police personnel under tremendous pressure. On Wednesday, 24-year-old Avinash Shetye tried to kill himself near the Garden Gate.
Shetye was promised that his examination papers would be revaluated. Agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar assured him of help. Shetye claimed that he did not get into the recruitment merit list for an agriculture assistant's vacancy because of undervaluation.
Relying more on technology
"Additional force has been deployed in the surrounding area so that any suspicious activity or person can be tracked," said a senior police officer.
For managing security inside the HQ, including entrance from the gates, a deputy commissioner leads the team. Similarly, a DCP is also appointed exclusively for Vidhan Bhavan. But since Vidhan Bhavan works as an autonomous unit, it gets all the good gadgets, whereas Mantralaya faces red-tapism, said a Mantralaya officer.
"Scanners don't work, CCTVs are of poor quality, and what makes Mantralaya security less effective are the police who don't take the job seriously. The rank and file take this duty as side posting," said a secretary-level officer.
The police top brass has decided to rely more on technology. "We should use best of technology and train personnel," said another bureaucrat. Tenders will be floated soon for procuring modern machines and equipment. The work is expected to finish by May this year.
>> Peripheral guard. Equipment and personnel deployment.
>> Patrolling of surrounding area
>> High quality expansive CCTV network
>> Access control and visitors management system
>> Personnel trained to handle modern equipment and gadgets
No of these attempts which were successful
No of suicide attempts at Mantralaya in the past 15 days