The Powai police have submitted a proposal to the BMC, seeking permission to build a two-storey police chowkie at Ganesh Ghat near Powai lake. The move is aimed at keeping a close vigil near the lake that has become a tourist spot.
The police also plan to have close circuit TVs installed at four vantage points in Powai. The points will be monitored from the chowkie. “Cops will be on duty 24X7. The area is deserted at night. We have received complaints of eve-teasing and molestation. Even accidents and drowning cases were reported in the past,” said deputy commissioner of police (Zone X) K M M Prasanna.
The Powai police station is located 15 to 20 minutes from the spot which gives miscreants time to escape. “Even complainants have to walk more than half-a-kilometre to reach the Powai police station in order to lodge a complaint,” said senior inspector Rajdoot Rupwate of Powai police station.
According to Rupwate, the beautification of Powai lake has attracted many people in the city, especially young couples who visit the place every day. “They indulge in public displays of affection. There have also been incidents of drowning and people committing suicide in the lake,” he said.
According to Prasanna, during major festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, and Chhath Puja, around 200 police personnel are put on bandobast duty at the lake as people gather in lakhs. The local police believe that at the proposed 1,600 sq-ft plot near the lake, they will be able to instal CCTV cameras to monitor the lake from the elevated vantage point. They
anticipate a spurt in crime with the completion of the lake-front beautification. “Several industrialists have offered to sponsor the chowkie,” he said. Junior officials with the BMC said that they would discuss the proposal with seniors.