New security plan for Chavan mirrors cover offered to PM

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 10 Maret 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state government has decided to upgrade chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's security, modelling it on the lines of the cover provided to the prime minister.

According to intelligence agencies, the chief minister is among the leaders who face a constant threat perception.

The new plan, which is being chalked out on the lines of the model followed for the prime minister's security set-up at South Block in New Delhi, is being prepared by DGP Sanjeev Dayal.

Dayal was the head of the Special Protection Group (SPG) during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure as PM.

The enhanced cover for Chavan, who already enjoys Z-plus category security, is a sign of a shift in priorities for security agencies, which so far laid emphasis on securing the city and its vital installations rather than refining the protection provided to state VIPs, including the CM.

"So far, we have been managing with an ad hoc security arrangement," a senior officer said. "But with terror organizations graduating to higher skill levels, we felt it was imperative we raise our standards as well and focus better on our state symbols."

According to the initial discussions that went into the preparation of the draft plan, only a select few will have access to the CM without going through all the security rings around him.

Important persons and peers in the state establishment will be awarded a certain number of stars depending on their level, and the number of stars will determine ease of access to the CM. A department secretary will be awarded four stars and a colour code for access to the chief minister. Those with fewer stars will have to park their vehicles at a distance from the chief minister's office (CMO) or residence, and their access will also be greatly controlled.

The new measures will be implemented in the new Mantralaya building, where the CM is likely to be accommodated on the ground floor at the rear.

Outside the new CMO, which will begin functioning once the Mantralaya makeover is completed, a tinted bulletproof glass wall of 10 ft by 7ft dimensions might be put up with a full-fledged security set-up hidden behind it.

Access to the CM will be allowed with a security escort and under CCTV surveillance. Among the other measures are availability of a medical team round the clock and a secret hideout where the CM and his aides can be shifted in case of an emergency, such as an attack.

A rescue unit will also be set up for the CMO. Ancillary bandobast will include putting up boulders and constructing a safety wall outside the Mantralaya building.

Senior officials said a basic proposal had been put before Chavan for approval. The arrangements at the CM's residence underwent a moderate upgrade after the November 26, 2008, coordinated terror strikes in the city, but an extended plan for his office never got a push till now.

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