After Segways, Mumbai Police to procure 30 horses for mounted division
After procuring a bunch of Segways, Mumbai Police is set to introduce a mounted division with 30 horses for patrolling and handling crowds in the busy city.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Mumbai Police Commissionerate’s proposal to have a 30-horse contingent has already been approved by the home and finance department, and is expected to get the cabinet nod soon.
If all goes according to plan, Mumbai police may have a contingent of horses as part of the force in the next three months for crowd control at public places and during protests.
“Their mobile mass and height advantage will help control crowd where the police personnel on foot cannot reach during protest marches and morchas. It will prove helpful to disperse crowd without using force. It will provide better visibility too,” an official from the home department told the daily.
While the idea may be new to Mumbai, several Indian cities like Chennai, Mysore & Kolkata, and some major global metros like New York and Moscow, have mounted divisions of police.
The city police will reportedly spend around Rs 1.75 crore on the move, Rs 1 crore of which will be spent on procuring the 30 horses and another major chunk will be spent on appointing an agency that will be responsible for their maintenance and upkeep.
The department will tie up with the government veterinary hospital at Parel for the horses’ medical needs and house them at the police training centre at Kole Kalyan, Kalina.
For now, a total of 38 police personnel including sub-inspectors, assistant inspectors, and head constables will be trained for the mounted division and deployed wherever necessary.
Despite the advantages, some have raised concerns over the feasibility of mounted police in a city like Mumbai which is plagued with overcrowding and traffic congestion.
The approval for the mounted division came days after the city police procured Segways to patrol promenades at Bandra Bandstand, Worli Sea Face and Versova beach after a successful trial run at Marine Drive.