To secure the visarjan procession route, Pune Municipal Corporation has hired 92 CCTV cameras for two days by spending Rs 14 lakh. These have been installed at 40 immersion spots (ghats) of the city.
MiD DAY had reported on September 6 (‘PMC CCTV scam, on pretext of Ganeshotsav security, nipped in bud’) about how the civic body had proposed to engage 60 CCTV camera units at various spots of the immersion route and riverside areas. According to tender the rent of each camera unit for two days was Rs 47,000. Taking into account the total equipment and manpower required to operate them for two days, the total cost of the tender was pegged at Rs 30 lakh.
However, after a market survey, members of the citizens group Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM) revealed that a camera unit could be purchased for Rs 20,000, implying that the total expenses would be less than 50 per cent of the hiring charges. Finally, the civic body had stopped the work order.
“We agree that compared to the last quotation, which was Rs 30 lakh, the cost has come down by more than half. But it’s still a lot of money, and they could have saved a sizeable amount by just buying the equipment. Every year PMC is spending Rs 15 to 20 lakh on hiring cameras. For the last three years the civic body has been procuring cameras during Pandharpur wari too. So they should have just bought the equipment at one go,” said Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch.
Meanwhile, PMC officials claimed that security is not the responsibility of the civic body, and that the state government and police should take the initiative for CCTV and other such measures.
The contract for hiring the equipment has been given to Undri Associates. The rent for each camera is Rs 3,000. The total cost is Rs 14 lakh, including charges for manpower services.
“We cannot purchase the CCTV cameras, because we would need work force to maintain them on a regular basis. So we preferred to hire them for two days. Along with the immersion spots, we have also installed cameras at Khanduji Baba Chowk,” said Vijay Dahibhate, head of the IT department, PMC.
Rs 3,000 Hiring charge for each CCTV camera