Delhi News

Suicide fears at Signature Bridge, police to write to Delhi tourism dept for mesh barriers

With roughly three persons being rescued every month after suicide attempts from the 154-metre-high Signature Bridge in North Delhi, police say they will write to the Delhi government’s tourism department to install mesh walls on both sides and deploy guards to prevent such incidents, The Indian Express has learnt. The bridge is located over the Yamuna river.

Said a senior officer: “We have sent several letters to the department in this regard in view of the suicide attempts but they have responded saying that installing the same is not feasible or will alter the aesthetic value of the structure… We are planning to write to them again to reiterate our request for mesh walls of an appropriate height and to deploy their guards for added vigilance.”

The officer said that last year, around 25 persons were rescued after attempting suicide from the bridge. “A mesh wall will help increase the height of the boundaries on both sides and deter people from attempting to jump into the river… Their own guards, if deployed, can identify any such person and counsel them not to jump,” the officer added.

Recently, a 17-year-old girl was rescued after she jumped into the river from the bridge following a quarrel with her father. The girl, a class 11 student, was saved in a 45-minute rescue operation led by a police team and local divers, who kept her engaged in a conversation even as she held on to a concrete pillar.

Another officer said that whenever they get a call regarding a suicide attempt from the bridge, they alert a team of divers, mostly from private agencies or from Delhi government’s Boat Club, to rush to the spot with rescue boats.

“If the person is on the ledge of the bridge, beat officers approach him or her and engage them in a conversation while rescuing them. If the person has jumped into the river and is drowning, multiple divers are deployed depending on how deep the person is. The person is subsequently brought to the banks,” the officer said.

A rescue diver said a few boats are always stationed around the river under the bridge to rush to the spot when a call is received.

Officers said the Old Wazirabad Bridge in North Delhi’s Timarpur, around a kilometre away from Signature Bridge, is also a common spot in the city for suicide attempts. “Rescue boats are also deployed at Old Wazirabad Bridge and regular patrolling is carried out there to prevent any such instances,” they said.

The Delhi government did not respond to calls and texts seeking a comment.

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