MUMBAI: The state has proposed an elaborate security arrangement for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai, including a system that will keep it invisible on radars, bunkers and an independent security unit, including the National Security Guard (NSG).
The measures are aimed at deflecting or countering terrorist attacks, like 26/11 when the terrorists sailed into the city, at the memorial isle that the government estimates will be visited by 10,000 people daily once it is commissioned in 2019.
Besides an anti-radar system on the 16 hectare rocky outcrop 2.6km from Nariman Point, “permanent bunkers will be erected that security personnel can use in case of an attack. The memorial will be under CCTV surveillance”, said officials.
Officials from the public works department that is executing the project said letters have been sent to the National Security Guards, the Mumbai police and the Coast Guard to co-ordinate and set up an independent security unit for the memorial.
The Rs 1,900 crore, 190 feet statue, which was granted approval on Tuesday, is being promoted as a tourist attraction.
Officials said the PWD has been granted environment clearance for a jetty at Nariman Point near the NCPA. “There will be two points from where visitors can board a boat to the memorial — Gateway of India and Nariman Point. The visitors will have to park their cars in multi-level car parks to be erected by BMC, board a designated bus to the jetties and take a boat back and forth,” said an official.
An Environment Impact Assessment report prepared by the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the National Institute of Oceanography has warned that the memorial and the tourists could affect birds in the area and their migratory routes. Fishing will also be hit, it said.
There will be an inspection gallery inside the statue for maintenance. No decision has been taken on whether the public should be allowed access to the gallery. The ticket rates are also to be decided, said sources.