State warns civic body of security threat to dams | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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State warns civic body of security threat to dams

In the backdrop of the July 13 blasts and the alerts issued on offshore gas and oil installations, the state government has alerted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about the security threat to dams supplying water to the city and asked it to beef up security around them.

mumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2011 00:56 IST
Bhavika Jain

In the backdrop of the July 13 blasts and the alerts issued on offshore gas and oil installations, the state government has alerted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about the security threat to dams supplying water to the city and asked it to beef up security around them.

The state, in a letter issued to the BMC last week, has cited security measures at Koyna dam in Satara — one of the biggest in the state — and asked the BMC to replicate the security structure at other dams in the city. (See box for the list of security measures the state has asked BMC to implement) “If the dams are damaged, it will affect the entire city and hence thrust should be laid on securing them,” says the letter drafted by the irrigation department.

Tansa, Modak Sagar, Vihar and Tulsi are four civic-owned dams and Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa are state-owned dams that supply substantial amount of water to the city. Currently, the roads leading to the dams are manned by the State Reserve Police Force and people who visit the premises of the dams are not let in without the BMC’s permission and spot checks. A limited number of closed circuit televisions are installed at the dams.

The dams are vulnerable to terrorists as pipelines carrying water to the city are dotted with illegal slums and small commercial units within a radius of 30 feet. Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, “We will look into the current plan and decide if the security system needs to be augmented.”

The Intelligence Bureau issued an alert on the city’s water distribution network in 2003. It warned that the 60,000 odd hutments in the vicinity of water pipelines could be used to maim the city. The agency had reiterated the threat after the train blasts in 2006 and the 26/11 terror attacks.