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Plan security for transport projects first: US experts

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2009 01:35 IST
HT Correspondent

Beefing up security for the proposed multi-crore Metro rail and Monorail is not just placing closed-circuit television cameras and metal detectors.

The security system should be imbibed into the mass transport system from the design stage before running it on track.

This is one of the suggestions by a delegation of seven US transport experts of the Federal Transit Authority (FTA).

The experts are in the city for three days to conduct series of lectures for planners, engineers and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials on developing mass transport systems.

The MMRDA is constructing a 146.5-km network of Metro rail at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore and a 100 km network of Monorail at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

“Our focus will be on improving the security measures apart from having an integrated fare system, ticketing, transportation planning and environmental sustainability,” said Ronald E Boenau, senior transport system manager, Federal International Transport programme, FTA. “The sessions will be more interactive rather than us just teaching our Indian counterparts.”

After the World Trade Centre attack in 2001, the security measures of all upcoming infrastructure projects have become proactive, said FTA members.

“We should keep a tight watch using an effective explosive detection system as people will be affected in case of an explosion. Also care should be taken in constructing wide entry and exit points to allow quick evacuation,” said an FTA expert, requesting anonymity for lack of authorisation to speak to the media.

“They [FTA officials] will apprise the engineers and transportation planners here on how to have a good security system in place right from the design stage,” said a senior MMRDA official.

“Things like emergency evacuation, detecting explosives, ways to handle public without creating chaos and having proper communication systems for arranging ambulance and fire brigade will be part of the curriculum,” the official added.