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Professional bouncers to keep Delhi’s ITO skywalk free of lovebirds

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 22, 2018 07:00 PM IST

These bouncers, who are on duty on the skywalk from 8am to 8pm, have been hired by the company in charge of its maintenance and get a monthly salary of ₹15,500.

It is five in the evening and six well-built men dressed in black are keeping a sharp eye on everyone — especially the couples — on the newly opened ‘skywalk’ near ITO in Delhi. These men are bouncers whose primary job, they say, is to make sure that the elevated walkway does not become a lovers’ hangout zone.

Commuters walk on the ITO Skywalk after its inauguration for general public on Monday, at Tilak marg Chowk in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Commuters walk on the ITO Skywalk after its inauguration for general public on Monday, at Tilak marg Chowk in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

“Since morning, I have had to ask at least 100 couples to move elsewhere,” says Ravinder , who, like his other colleagues, prefers to tell only his first name.

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As we talk, he spots a couple holding hands, leaning over the railing, and immediately rushes towards them. He has a word with the young couple, which does not question him and decides to leave.

“ We have been hired because no one listens to the guards these days. Throughout the day, I have been preventing a couple from sitting on the stairs of the plazas of the skywalk. What they need to understand is that this place is built for pedestrians, and not for a date,” says Amit , another bouncer on duty.

So, do the couples not ask who they are? “That they understand from our dress; they also understand we mean business,” says Rocky, another bouncer. The canopied skywalk, whose three arms lead to different exit points, provides expansive views of the area. Apart from six bouncers, there are 15 guards at any given time.

Besides, the facility also has 40 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

Read: Few takers for newly opened ITO skywalk in Delhi

These bouncers, who are on duty on the skywalk from 8am to 8pm, have been hired by the company in charge of its maintenance and get a monthly salary of 15,500.

“Our company is also responsible for the maintenance of the skywalk. We have hired bouncers to ensure there are no thefts and no one restricts the smooth flow of pedestrians on the skywalk,” said Bansi Lal, an electrical engineer with Swadeshi Civil Infrastructure, the company which built the skywalk.

When asked if PWD is aware of such a move, PWD engineer-in-chief Umesh Mishra said, “We have not placed or hired any bouncer at the skywalk.”

“I know a skywalk is an unusual place to work as a bouncer; in fact, we have never been on duty in a place like this before. But we are doing what we have been asked to do,” says Hari Om, another bouncer. “But I think without us this place will soon turn into a hot dating site.”

But don’t the bouncers think it is wrong to remove couples from a public space? Amit is silent for a while, and then says, “We have no problem as long as they do not get touchy-feely and keep moving.”

Despite repeated phone calls, no official from Swadeshi Civil Infrastructure could not be contacted till the time of going to press.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Manoj Sharma is Metro Features Editor at Hindustan Times. He likes to pursue stories that otherwise fall through the cracks.

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