With surge in crime against women in Mumbai, the police are all braced for a foolproof security cover at the Gateway of India, which is thronged by lakhs of people on New Year's Eve.
The tourist spot by the Arabian Sea would be fortified with deployment of over 1,000 policemen in and around the place. Also, in a bid to prevent any incident of harassment of women, separate entry and exit points for men and women would be put in place and the police would specially focus on evacuating the area post 12am.
Vinod Sawant, senior inspector of Colaba police told HT, "We would barricade the Taj hotel from all four sides. We would specially focus on the evacuation of Gateway of India and Colaba Causeway areas post-midnight after the celebrations."
Specially-installed eight night-vision close circuit television (CCTV) cameras would act as the third eye of the Mumbai police. Around five watchtowers would also be erected from where policemen would keep a watch on the crowd with the help of binoculars.
The special security measures would include deployment of zonal and traffic personnel, along with the Naval police. While the police are tightlipped about the total number of policemen who would be deployed at the Gateway of India, sources said at least 800 uniformed policemen would man the place. In addition to that, several police personnel in plain clothes would be present in the crowd, along with traffic policemen.
All vehicular traffic from SP Mukherjee Chowk toward Colaba Causeway would be diverted to other roads.
The police would barricade the SP Mukherjee junction, which would act as the entry point for people to go to Gateway of India via Shivaji Marg. "A separate entry would be kept for the families and youngsters, whereas an exclusive entry would be put up for women. Special care would be taken to ensure safety of women and hence pamphlets would be distributed in the area from early December 31 to spread awareness of the arrangement put in place," said Dr Ravindra Shisve, deputy commissioner of police (zone 1).
Separate entry, exit points for men, women
The police stated that while the families and women would be allowed to exit made available at the SP Mukherjee junction, the males would have to walk out of the venue only through the exits at the BEST Marg and Henry Road, which would help them exit directly on the causeway.
"The exit at SP Mukherjee Chowk for families would help as the Apollo Bunder Road would be very crowded. The youngsters (males) have to leave the venue by taking a detour and won't be allowed to come back to the entry point once they cross it," added Sawant.