This is a classic case of closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted. The women and child development department has decided to install CCTV cameras and increase the height of the compound wall of Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruha in Mankhurd following the inmates’ escape on October 27.
The department blamed the PWD for the low height of the compound wall and claimed to have been in the process of installing CCTV cameras when the incident happened.
“The PWD built the women’s home on the lines of the working women’s hostel without considering security as well as the fact that the women are brought here for rehabilitation. The compound wall is just 5-ft-high,” said an official of the women and child development department.
As many as 36 women had escaped from the home, of which only 13 were caught. The Bombay high court had initiated a suo moto inquiry into the allegations of sexual abuse at the shelter home and issued a notice to the government.
Minister of women and child development Varsha Gaikwad has sought the help of the public works, home and finance departments to raise the height of the wall and build another floor to accommodate the inmates. She has also directed officials to install CCTV cameras on the premises.
Home minister RR Patil assured Gaikwad that escorts will be provided at the earliest to ensure that the women are taken back home.