The Bombay high court is hearing a public interest litigation that's seeking better safety and security measures at the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link. This area saw a spate of suicides in the recent past making people fear whether it would become the city's suicide point.
Who has filed the PIL, where?
The PIL was filed in Bombay high court by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar on Tuesday.
What does he want?
He wants FIR registered against Mumbai Entry Point Infrastructure Developers (MEPID), which collects toll, and managing director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), for criminal negligence, because of which "there is threat to the security and safety of Mumbai's common people". Tirodkar also wants better security measures put in place here.
Why is he so concerned?
There have been a spate of suicides in this area. In the last two weeks alone four people committed suicide by jumping into the rocky sea beneath from the sea link. Tirodkar feels there is not enough safety measures in place to save someone jumping through the 4ft-high barriers/railings, or adequate security measures to prevent a probable terrorist sabotage/attack. There are no underwater security set up to prevent a dynamite being planted either. The security here has to be spotless as there are Coast Guard and Naval installations close by.
Aren't there guards here?
There are, around 6 to 8 of them. But they have no expertise or the supportive infrastructure to prevent incidents like suicide, murder or terror strikes.
What about CCTVs?
There are. Six of them! But they do not give clear images.
What does Tirodkar suggest?
Set up better cameras that can get a complete view of the whole bridge from all possible angels; instal X- Ray machines at both entry points to detect explosives, if any, on passing vehicles; set up a hi-tech under water surveillance network.
Who will oversee the security?
Mumbai police. The police control room should get the visual output to take swift action in case of an emergency.
Who is hearing the PIL?
A division bench of justices PV Hardas and Anuja Prabhudessai of Bombay high court.
When is the next hearing?
The next hearing is today (Tuesday).
About the sea link
The 4.8km-long sea link was commissioned by MSRDC and built by Hindustan Construction Company in 2009. MEPID is responsible for collecting toll under the toll collection contract between MEPID and MSRDC.
Toll collected: Rs 55.65cr in 2009-10; Rs 67.05cr in 2010-11; Rs 61.41cr in 2011-12; Rs 77.85cr in 2012-13; Rs 53.43cr up to Jan 2014.
Of this, MSRDC's share was Rs 69.12cr every year.