While Mumbaiites are struggling to come to terms with frequent terror attacks, the state's top politicians and bureaucrats do not want to take chances with their security. They have now proposed a plan to fortify the Mantralaya.
A top official told the Hindustan Times on Monday that visitors to the Mantralaya would be subjected to greater scrutiny while being permitted inside. They would be asked to specify the department they want to visit.
Entry to unspecified departments would be restricted.
The official said that the visitor would have to give his/her biometric thumb impression at the entry. "The impression will be verified at the entry to the department the visitor is going to as well," said the official, requesting anonymity, adding that the news system would be implemented in some time.
However, a police official said that controlling visitors movement at the entrance of ever department would be very difficult, as many departments are interlinked, and there are no clear demarcations between them. Additionally, there are many cases where the department and the office of its minister are located on different floors.
"The new system will add to the troubles of a common visitor," the police official said, on the condition of anonymity.
Currently, all visitors, barring government officials and accredited persons, are allowed access to the ministry every day only after 2pm.
Documents such as a voter's card, identity card of one's workplace are asked for and verified, before issuing a paper entry pass. Additionally, metal detectors and scanners are present at all the gates.
Under the new proposal, the paper entry pass will be replaced with a visitor's card, with the biometric thumb impression and photograph of the visitor.
Webcams and biometric scanners would be used to produce the cards instantly.
The new system would make it easier to identify and trace them, in case of any untoward event. Chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad, supposedly the brain behind the proposal, refused to comment on it.
Apart from the enhanced security at the entrance the administration also plans to raise the height of the compound wall to 11 feet.
Armoured vehicles and several gunmen guard the building 24x7.