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Can't afford to be blind about security

Yesterday, MiD DAY ran a front-page piece on how posters and flags of the Union Elections for Central Railway are obscuring the CCTV cameras at the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST, as it is more commonly known. Posters, pamphlets and banners have sprung up on the premises by two railway unions because the railway union elections that began yesterday and will end on April 27.

While authorities have promised to remove the banners and posters if they block these surveillance cameras, it is shocking that nobody was vigilant enough to ensure that they didn’t come up in the first place and cause a major security lapse by blocking the ‘eyes’ of the frantically busy, iconic Mumbai train station.

Surely nobody can forget how the CST was a prime target in the 26/11 terror attacks. Some footage obtained by the cameras at the station helped in subsequent investigation.

Today, when there is talk about the city being under watch at every nook and corner and most importantly at public infrastructure, one is baffled why such a security breach should happen at all.

The importance of surveillance cannot be ruled out in an age when terror continues to stalk us. Recently, surveillance played a vital part in the investigations into the Boston bombing in the US. A surveillance tape from a nearby store at the finish line of the Boston marathon provided the first footage about the bombers.

Today we are striving to put the city under CCTV cover and ensure that the quality of footage is good so that identification becomes easy. We need remedial action and fast. 

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