With a view to making the process of demolitions smoother, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has yet again dusted off an old proposal to make a specially trained force of municipal security men. This force will help civic officials conduct demolitions, and help in crowd-management during festivities such as Ganpati immersions.
Such a proposal has been in the pipeline for the past few years now.Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar has proposed that out of the total strength of the civic security force of 4,000 security men, 200 be trained especially for select purposes like demolition drives, encroachment removal drives and to ensure mass festivities proceed smoothly.
“Each time there is a demolition drive, we have to ask the state department to send policemen. We have a strong force of 4000 out of which about 200 can be specially trained so that policemen do not have to be involved every time. This team can also be pressed into service for handling crowds during idol immersion,” said Kumar. Sceptics, however, say that such a proposal is easier proposed than implemented. According to civic statistics, around 800 posts in the municipal security force, out of the total strength of 4000 posts, lie vacant. The civic body has even started having private security guards manning various civic assets. Some private guards are seen guarding even parts of the civic body headquarters.
A civic official, from the security officer’s office, said: “The plan was to hire these private security guards for a year or so, till we fill our vacancies. A batch of new recruits is currently being trained.”