In the wake of a tussle between the state and the contractor over the expenditure for security cover for the Metro One project, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has approached the union ministry of urban development to frame security guidelines for transport infrastructure projects.
The lack of clarity on security expenses could make the projects, especially those on a public-private-partnership mode, unviable.
“We have asked the ministry to clear its stand on the nature of security to be provided for infrastructure projects and fix the responsibility for the expenses incurred towards the security by any central agency,” said UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner.
The union home ministry had directed the MMRDA to get security personnel from central agencies such as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for Mumbai’s Versova-Andheri Ghatkopar (VAG) metro corridor. As the project is being developed on a PPP mode, the contractor is expected to look after the security.
Earlier, the contractor had allegedly decided to appoint private security guards. However, following the home ministry’s directions, the contractor is now supposed to appoint a central security agency, which it claims will add on to the expenditure.
This could delay the metro project further.
The MMRDA is also in talks with the state government over the security measures for the Chembur-Wadala phase of the monorail project, fearing that the home ministry might raise the issue after the service commences.
According to the latest security plan for the project, the MMRDA will appoint private security guards with assistance from the Mumbai police.
“We plan to appoint private security guards, who will be trained by the police. We have asked the police to provide us with bomb and dog squads, the expenses for which will be borne by the MMRDA,” said Ashwini Bhide, additional commissioner, MMRDA.