As part of steps taken to bolster security at Mantralaya,a biometric finger scanner,digital camera and baggage scanning machine have been installed at the main entrance to verify the identity of people entering the state secretariat office.
While baggage scanning X-ray machines,metal detectors and hand-held scanners dot each entrance,the biometric fingerprinting and digital cameras are new introductions as the administration takes steps to increase security at the government headquarters in Mumbai.
Immediately after the 26/11 terror attack,during which Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice Abu Ismail passed along the Mantralaya route in their attempt to flee,the state government had announced a slew of measures to beef up security at the office.
It had drafted a Rs 10-crore plan for security upgrade at Mantralaya,which included a blast-proof high boundary wall,modern machinery and restrictions on entry of cars into the building.
A team of senior government officials from the home,IT and police departments had visited London last month to check the various security measures the Scotland Yard has adopted at public places and to study the CCTV network there.
The effects of the London trip are being seen at Mantralaya with biometric scans of visitors being done at one entrance of the government headquarters. The security upgrade is being handled largely by the IT department.
Home Minister R R Patil had suggested installation of an iris detection system at Mantralaya after he returned from London.
In London,they take your biometric finger scan and other details on your first visit. At subsequent visits,a biometric scan reveals your identity and you are permitted to enter. There is no repeated verification of identity. The information gathered is also collated at one centre and used by the police for various crime detection purposes,if needed, said a senior home department official.