February 27, 2009 11:25:38 pm
High-risk public buildings,or potential targets of terror attacks,may soon do away with their parking lots. Such a recommendation has come from the state government-appointed committee drafting the first-ever security control rules for the city.
The committee has marked around 430 such buildings. Categorising these buildings as high-risk,medium-risk and low-risk,it has suggested measures to protect them from a possible terror attack or disaster. These buildings will also have to carry out security audits internally every month and by third party companies appointed by the government annually.
The panel members said the high-risk buildings cannot have a basement parking or anywhere around the structure. If the parking lot is a must then it should be in an open space in the compound and not directly beneath the structure. Basement parking will be permitted,provided the columns are steel-armoured and have high fire rating capacity, a member said,adding that the building owners can purchase a vacant plot nearby and construct the parking lot there.
It also recommended that vehicles should drop visitors at a stand off point,which will be around 10 to 15 metres away from the main structure. This will avoid the vehicle entering the building. The committee also suggests a zigzag way,and not a straight one,to the building,lined up with speed bumpers and bollards.
The committee,which comprises experts and representatives from ATS and Army,had heavily drawn from security manuals and guidelines from the US and Australia for its recommendations.
In November,a few days prior to the 26/11 attacks,the state Urban Development Department had appointed a committee headed by retired bureaucrat N V Merani to recommend amendments to the existing Development Control rules. The report is expected to be submitted to the government soon,following which a decision will be taken.
The committee also noted that many public buildings,including Mantralaya,have multiple entry points. There should be only one,but separate,entry point, a member of the panel said.
New buildings as well as the existing public and government buildings have been asked to set up security outposts. The committee also recommended that digitised plans of all important buildings should be kept with a central agency so that the police and security forces can access them in times of a hostage situation.
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