A Mumbai police officer patrolling the city streets on his motorcycle is no impressive sight.
The bikes might be durable and may give good mileage, but it does nothing for the Mumbai police’s image, or so feels the state home department.
In a bid to change this, the government plans to arm city cops with 500 new motorcycles to make them faster, and look better on the streets.
The state home department plans to ensure that Mumbai’s police bikes look like the ones Europe and America and that they should have additional features such as tool kits, a holder for a walkie-talkie etc.
Deputy Police Commissioner (motor transport) Kishor Joshi said Home Minister Jayant Patil mooted the idea after similar ones abroad.
The state home department has also asked automobile designer Dilip Chhabria to modify the bikes to suit the requirements of our police.
Chhabria said he chose a Yamaha model as it is one of the fastest bikes and has wide wheels and is easy to modify. He estimates that designing each bike will cost between Rs 15,000-20,000.
He shared his design - modifications on the Yamaha FZ-S - with the government a few days ago. “The government feels the motorcycles will boost the image of Mumbai police. The new look will also make the motorcycles easily recognisable. They will be more comfortable, have better lights and sirens, a kit-box for tools, ammunition and communication,” said Chhabria.
DCP Joshi added that the government still has to approve the designs and will take a decision on the modifications after it procures the 500 motorcycles. “We have asked Chhabria to submit a few more designs,” he said.