To make sure it is prepared to tackle any potential terror threat on the Bandra-Worli sea link, the state government plans to secure the 5.6-km long iconic structure in the next three months.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) plans to set up ‘mobile-based explosive scanners’ on the sea link at a cost of Rs 50 crore, 13 months after its inauguration.
There will be four such scanners, bought at a cost of Rs 10 crore each, and will be installed about 50 metres ahead of the toll nakas. These scanners, that are bulky devices, will inspect vehicles before they enter or exit the sea link.
They will be able to detect explosives and weapons inside any vehicle.
The scanners will be placed on four out of the eight existing lanes on the bridge with two each on either ends of Bandra and Worli.
It would take 20 seconds to scan a vehicle that drives under the device and nearly 180 cars can be scanned per hour.
This means that the scanner can inspect approximately 8,000 cars in a day. The daily traffic count on the sea link is roughly 25,000 vehicles.
MSRDC chairman and Public Works (public undertakings) Minister Jaydatt Kshirsagar said: “The process of getting mobile explosive scanners for Bandra-Worli sea link is on.”
Apart from these scanners, the waterfront too would be fortified using rubber buoys. These inflated buoys will be garlanded around the pillars of the sea link to avoid any damage due to collision. The buoys are supposed to be tough enough to sustain an impact.
“These scanners will be bought by us but will be monitored by the police,” said a MSRDC official.
They are in the process of finalising the private contractor, which would take them more than a month.
Although the deadline for installing these scanners is three months, sources say the process will be completed by the end of this year.
The cost of these additional security measures will be added to the project cost of the sea link. In June, the Mumbai Police wrote to MSRDC seeking funds for strengthening the security of the bridge.