Mumbai: Rattled by the suicide of a 45-year-old man on the Mantralaya premises last week, officials on Monday set up a safety net covering the open space across the first floor of the 7-storey state secretariat. The officials are concerned over the rising spate of incidents wherein at least two individuals who were visiting the state seat of power in south Mumbai had tried to kill themselves.
On February 8, Harshal Raote, a murder convict on parole, jumped to his death from the fifth floor of the Mantralaya, days after a 32-year-old unemployed man attempted suicide outside the building. On January 22, an 84-year-old farmer from Dhule district consumed poison on the state secretariat premises demanding adequate compensation for his acquired land. He died while undergoing treatment at a south Mumbai hospital on January 28.
A PWD (Public Works Department) officer said the safety net was set up with a view to protect any individual from directly falling on the ground if he/she chose to jump from upper floors in the building in future. The PWD is responsible for the Mantralaya’s maintenance. Apart from setting up the safety net, the officials have also initiated various measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents. “Other measures include closing down some windows that do not have iron grills as protection. We would like to place some iron grills to avoid any such incidents,” the officer said.
The departments of PWD, Home and General Administration had held joint meetings in the past as well, but no measures on this front could be undertaken due to some reasons. However, Raote’s suicide prompted the administration to undertake some measures, officials said.