Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Marine Drive deserves big police station

Mumbai: ‘Marine Drive deserves big police station’

Updated on: 05 February,2024 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma |

SoBo residents throw weight behind cops, who are being shunted to a pokey street in favour of posh homes for officers

Mumbai: ‘Marine Drive deserves big police station’

The Marine Drive police station, which is to be relocated, on February 3. Pic/Shadab Khan

Key Highlights

  1. Upper crust of south Mumbai has been opposing relocation of Marine Drive police station
  2. In 2002, the jurisdictions of Cuffe Parade and Azad Maidan police stations were carved out
  3. But instead of increasing the area of Marine Drive police station, it’s being relocated

The upper crust of south Mumbai, who predominantly reside in sea-facing high-rises, has been strongly opposing the relocation of Marine Drive police station, whose colonial-era structure will be razed to pave the way for the construction of upscale apartments mostly for senior IAS/IPS officers.

In 2002, the jurisdictions of Cuffe Parade and Azad Maidan police stations were carved out for the Marine Drive police station, which was then housed in a British-era barrack.

But, now, instead of increasing the area of Marine Drive police station, it’s being relocated to a building deep inside the lane where the total area is that of a chicken coop.

An aerial view of the Marine Drive police station and the under-construction building for senior bureaucrats on February 3. Pic/Shadab KhanAn aerial view of the Marine Drive police station and the under-construction building for senior bureaucrats on February 3. Pic/Shadab Khan

Senior police officers told mid-day that public works department (PWD) personnel have been sending them letters to leave the barrack for the smooth construction of an upscale building for babus. Residents are upset because if the Marine Drive police station is shifted behind a BMC-run pump house, it will not be easily accessible to residents, most of whom are senior citizens. No four-wheeler can go inside the narrow lane.

There are many colleges, iconic clubs and cricket stadiums, restaurants and tourist spots such as the Queen’s Necklace which see high footfall and VIP movement, and the Marine Drive cops are constantly on their toes. But sources in the police department underlined that the swanky building for senior babus is more important for the government.

Move criticised

A local resident termed the plan to shift the police station selfish while cops said that it was demoralising for the police force, which deserves better.
“We, the residents of Marine Drive, want the police station to be visible, large, citizen-friendly, accessible and have sufficient parking space,” said Ashok Gupta, vice-president of Marine Drive Citizens Association.

“We need a 250-seater facility, as there is no space to accommodate officials who come as reinforcement. These personnel have to struggle to heed nature’s call or take a bath,” he added.

A police department source said, “We have been asked to vacate this barrack and start working from a building where the maximum area of a room is 100 sq ft. Also, the official vehicle of a senior inspector can’t be parked near the building, which only a motorcycle can reach.”

‘Discouraging move’

“This is one of the most important police stations in Mumbai. We need to keep several barricades for bandobast and nakabadis. Where we will keep the impounded vehicles if the area is downsized by pushing us deep inside the lane? This is a very discouraging move,” said an officer. A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “The government as well as citizens want world-class policing services, but how we will be able to work if there is no place to sit properly? The cabin of a senior inspector is also small. Above all, the interrogation room is a small box.” 

Suresh Chhabria, a resident, said, “This is a step-motherly treatment. We want a police station that is easily accessible. Even today, people find it very difficult to locate the Marine Drive police station. If it’s shifted, things will go from bad to worse.” He added, “We need to have a larger and more accessible space for the Marine Drive police station. It should not be relocated. The new building should be given only to house their administrative staff, whereas, for policing, the officials can work from here.”

Sunayana Sadarangani, 71, one of the early broadcast journalists, said, “We have to face difficulties at present. Taxi drivers do not know where the Maine Drive police station is! We have to tell them that take us to CCI, then they come. And if it is shifted to a junkyard, citizens in distress will find it very difficult to locate the police station.”

Another resident, Meena Mutha, who is the trustee of a rehabilitation centre, said the already-high footfall at Marine Drive was going to increase due to the Coastal Road. “Marine Drive is a major tourist spot. The police station should be visible so that the citizens in distress can easily find it. If the police station is cornered, the street crime rate in the area will skyrocket,” Mutha said.

Resident Mahendra Hemdev said, “I think it is a half-hearted approach by those involved in shifting this Marine Drive police station to a junkyard. Where will the police keep their impounded vehicles amid the space crunch?”

An elderly woman Madhuri Choitram said, “Why disturb our police force, who have been working round the clock for our safety? At least give them a better place to work. I would request the government to shift them to a location where Marine Drive citizens can easily reach and park their vehicles. Don’t corner the Marine Drive police station.”

One alternative

There is a growing demand among citizens to relocate the Marine Drive police station to a parking space near the Air India building, next to Vidhan Bhavan. “It will serve the purpose as it has a large space where the police can keep impounded vehicles and it will be easily accessible to one and all,” said 75-year-old Anil Bhatia.
A senior officer in Mumbai police said, “The area of this parking space is nearly 12,000 sq ft. If it is given to the Marine Drive police, it will be great because it is located near Vidhan Bhavan.”

Meanwhile, Gupta said, “This large piece of land is being used to park vehicles. This is government land where a building for the Marine Drive police station can be easily made.”

Raising numerous concerns, a police officer said, “We have to do nakabandis at Marine Drive in the night for which we need to have several barricades. But where we will keep the barricades if we do not have space? Where will we keep impounded vehicles? There is only one way out of the narrow lane. How we will work if a large crowd gathers at the police station? We will be completely stranded if a fire breaks out as no fire engines can come inside. This is very alarming as the lives of our men will be at risk all the time. The government should think of some alternative arrangement.”

Another officer said, “Babus holding key positions want to reside in posh areas at the cost of our convenience. If the senior IAS/IPS officers want free government accommodation, swanky buildings should be made for them in Kurla, Dahisar, Mulund, Dharavi or BKC. Why do they want to live in a building constructed next to the sea?”


Meanwhile, Joint Commissioner of Police (Admin) S Jaykumar said, “I need to verify the exact status. I think the spot where the Marine Drive police station is located at present is a temporary accommodation, and this [relocation] could be a temporary measure. We have to find permanent accommodation for a police station as per the town planning in the area. We have to relocate to a site where we will have all the required facilities to run a police station.” 

100 sq ft
Area of room in new building

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK