If all goes well, the streets around Panchratna building will soon be dotted by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Three days after a high-intensity bomb blast rocked the narrow by-lanes of Opera House, an agitated diamond merchant community has demanded tight security for the area, and will be installing CCTV cameras in these streets, by themselves. Traders have also demanded a complete ban on illegal parking and hawking in the area.
The Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association (MDMA), in a meeting held on Saturday, said that they would shift the trading activity to Bharat Diamond Bourse at Bandra-Kurla Complex within the next six to eight months. However, some traders expressed doubts over the same.
In a condolence meeting called by the association, it has also been decided to compensate families of the traders killed, as well as those injured in the blast on Wednesday.
Bharat Shah, president, MDMA, said that the association would be submitting a memorandum of demands to the chief minister and Mumbai police commissioner. The core demand, he said, was the tightening of security around the area. “We will ask the Mumbai police, if they could provide us space in the area to build police chowkies. If they can, we are ready to build chowkies for them,” he said.
A member of the association said, “We are looking at taking care of the families of those killed and injured by offering them financial compensation. Although we are yet to decide on a figure, we have told our traders to pitch and contribute to the cause.”
A trader, not wishing to be named, said that a demand had been placed to offer Rs5 lakh as compensation. “Our association offers the family of any deceased trader, irrespective of the reason for death, a sum of Rs2 lakh. Here, we have demanded at least double the sum be given as compensation.”
Shah blamed illegal parking as well as hawkers for Wednesday’s tragedy. “It is a well-known fact that terrorists target certain spots because they are crowded and congested. In these lanes, parking of vehicles as well as hawkers primarily caused the congestion. We will demand that action be taken against both these aspects.”