Boat operators in the city have some good news coming their way. The Mumbai police have decided to allow parties and cruises on boats to usher in the New Year.
Following the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008, the police had refused to give permission to boat operators to organise year-end parties.
Naval Bajaj, additional commissioner of police, south region, said police personnel would be posted at the five jetties near the Gateway of India so that vessels coming in from places like Mandwa and Alibaug could be screened and checked properly to avoid any threat perception.
“We are responsible of security within five nautical miles off Mumbai coast. We do not have any problems with city boat parties. Our main concern is boats coming from other areas,” said Bajaj.
Quisar Khaleed, deputy commissioner of police, port zone, said they hadn’t received any proposal from boat owners so far. “Any proposal to organise a party would be scrutinised and permission will be given only if they fulfil the required conditions,” said Khaleed. “We have written to boat owners instructing them that not to lease their boats for commercial purposes unless they have permission from the police. We are also talking to the Mumbai port trust in this regard.”
All 17 patrol boats of the coastal police would be patrolling the waters on the night of December 31.
Welcoming the news, Iqbal Mukadam, owner of a passenger boat at Gateway of India, said: “Boat parties are a good source of income for us,” he said.
“We earn more than Rs 20,000 to 30,000 in a single night,” said another boat owner.