The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) plans to install hi-tech security gadgets as security measure at the Bandra-Worli sea link may raise privacy concerns.
In a move to preempt any possible attacks, the MSRDC wants to install various vehicle and body scanners on the sea link on trial basis. Apart from screening vehicles for concealed weapons, explosives or objectionable cargo, the scanners will also carry out a full body scan of the passengers.
“Before taking the final call, we have decided to evaluate all vehicle and cargo scanners which use different technologies,” a senior MSRDC official said on condition of anonymity as he isn’t authorised to speak to the media.
The scanners are part of the MSRDC’s Rs 27-crore security upgrade of the sea link. The agency had floated bids for the same earlier this year.
Vehicle and body scanners are widely used in the west, especially after the 9/11 attacks in the US. These large machines scan vehicles and people sitting inside for suspicious items, including concealed weapons, bomb-making material, drugs, etc, within a few seconds.
However, the scanners have also come under criticism on grounds of invasion of personal privacy and concerns over health.
MSRDC officials said the final decision would be taken after considering all the privacy issues and ensuring that there was no radiation risk to the commuters.
Apart from the scanners, the MSRDC is also planning to procure other high-tech devices including high-speed boats, floating buoys, floating jetty, walkie-talkies, high-speed motorbikes, towing vans, observation tower, etc, to secure the sea link.
Officials said the Mumbai police would be handling the equipment.
After the sea link’s inauguration in 2009, the only security measure that MSRDC introduced was to install six CCTV cameras for surveillance.
Earlier, the Mumbai police had written a letter to the MSRDC saying that it needed nearly Rs 50 crore for sprucing up security over the sea link.