Panel proposes entry fee to Gateway of Indiahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/panel-proposes-entry-fee-to-gateway-of-india/

Panel proposes entry fee to Gateway of India

The security audit of the three-part state coastal security plan includes charging an entry fee to the Gateway of India and keeping a watch on the garbage bins around the monument

The security audit of the three-part state coastal security plan includes charging an entry fee to the Gateway of India and keeping a watch on the garbage bins around the monument. The Mumbai Police have proposed their safe tourism plan to be first implemented at the Gateway of India to boost its coastal security plan.

To ensure maintenance of the area,the police have proposed that the public be charged an entry fee of Rs 2. A 10-feet-high permanent wrought iron barricade has been proposed around the Gateway’s land-side perimeter with grills of a one-inch gap. “The barricades that were initially planned have too much gap between the bars and could allow for persons to pass through without security checks. Entry of photographers and ferry-owners must also be regulated,” said an official.

The proposal,outlined by the Mumbai Police and to be executed by the BMC,was sent to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee for approval. However the committee returned it. “We need more details on the proposal which is why we have deferred approval,” said MHCC chairman V Ranganathan.

“The committee had raised concerns on sea-side security. They felt that door-frame metal detectors and frisking kiosks should also be installed at the jetty to prevent terrorists from entering the sea. We have now reworked our proposal and included these aspects. We aim to get their approval at least by the end of this month,” Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Krishna Prakash said.

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In a July 17 security meeting,the Mumbai Police have pointed that bombs can be easily placed in garbage bins and scrap in the port premises. Until recently,the MbPT and BMC were involved in a lengthy stand-off over the collection of solid waste. The BMC now collects the garbage. “Stationary garbage poses a security threat. It is very easy for an IED to be placed inside a pile of garbage and also in stationary garbage bin,” said an official.

Meanwhile,in what will involve additional staff,a proposal also includes deputing security patrol around garbage bins at the Gateway of India. “At the Gateway of India,we will ensure that garbage bins are not stationed at a place for a long time,” said Prakash.

alison.saldanha@expressindia.com& srinath.rao@expressindia.com