Stretches between Colaba, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and the Metro junction will soon be under the watchful eyes of the Mumbai police, following the construction of six permanent watchtowers in south Mumbai. These watchtowers will soon be manned by armed policemen equipped with wireless sets, who will keep an eye on everything from petty crime to potential terror activity.
The six towers are at Colaba’s Badhwar Park (where 10 Pakistani terrorists landed on November 26, 2008), Regal cinema junction, Eros cinema junction, Hutatma Chowk, Metro cinema junction and CST. The towers are 20 feet high and each will allow the police to monitor areas in a 200-metre radius.
Officials said that the plan for permanent watchtowers was envisaged following the success of temporary towers, which the police used to monitor and control crowds during the Mumbai marathon, Ganeshotsav and Navratri.
“With a seamless view of the area, the policeman posted at these towers will have an advantage over those at ground level. Our intention is to keep an eye on chain-snatching bikers, to curb crime against women, and to keep tabs on any suspicious activities. Traffic movement will also be monitored,” said Ravindra Shisve, deputy commissioner of police (zone I), who came up with the idea and executed it in his zone.
A group of around 60 constables will be trained for the job. They will be split into 30 two-man teams, which will posted at the towers in rotating two-hour shifts. Central security agencies, including the Central Industrial Police Force (CISF) and Border Security Force (BSF), which have experience in using watchtowers, will train the constables. “If the project is successful, more towers will be erected to cover areas such as Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Dongri and JJ Marg,” Shisve added.