The Mantralaya fire has prompted transport experts to demand a review the security measures, especially fire safety systems, of big-ticket infrastructure projects in the city.
All safety precautions must be put in place and implemented before projects get operational, said experts. "Most of these projects are in the hands of people who would have planned to put safety measures in place. We need to ensure that these things are implemented, which if often not done," Ashok Datar, transport expert.
Take the case of the Bandra-Worli sea link, which has been operational since 2009. The police drew up an elaborate . -crore plan to secure the bridge the same year. The plan to maintain the safety of the sea link as well as commuters included procuring high-speed boats, floating buoys, floating jetty, walkie-talkies, high-speed motor bikes, towing vans and an observation tower. Three years later, not one of the equipment is in place. The only security equipment the sea link has is the six CCTV cameras installed on the decks to record traffic movement.
"It is time to set up an independent machinery to ensure compliance and implementation of all safety norms across the city. I have serious doubt about the whether the government officials have the knowledge and wherewithal to handle these issues," former chief secretary DM Sukhthankar said.
The Mumbai Metropolitan region Development Authority, which is behind the proposed 22-km Mumbai trans harbour link, is planning a control tower as well as infrared thermographic cameras across the sea bridge to ensure that every minute activity is monitored. "We will install infrared thermographic cameras as conventional CCTVs are not very useful in the dark," a senior MMRDA official said, requesting anonymity.
The metro and the monorail too have detailed security systems planned place, but experts question the capability of the state machinery to handle or implement these systems.