Home Ministry sits on Police Commissioner's proposal to install 1,000 cameras at various locations identified in city; 14 CCTV cameras put up through local-level initiative not yet functional
At a time when the city is again on high alert because of the approaching third anniversary of the 26/11 terrorist massacre in Mumbai, the fact that a months-old proposal to cover the city with CCTV cameras has still not moved forward is another reminder of political apathy towards security of citizens.
Long wait: CCTV cameras installed at Alka Talkies chowk near Lakadi
Pul. pic/Krunal Gosavi
The Home Ministry has not yet finalised the Commissioner of Police's proposal to install 1,000 CCTV cameras at 342 places across the city. The proposal was sent six months ago and a revised draft also forwarded recently.
"The issue is still pending with the state Home Ministry and we are expecting the installation of the CCTV cameras in the city to get approved in the next three months," said Commissioner of Police Meeran Chadha Borwankar. "Installation of the cameras will be done in Mumbai and Pune at the same time."
As for the 14 CCTV cameras installed recently at strategic locations by the police, these are yet to become functional. The cameras were installed during the Ganapati festival this year, but are still awaiting the promised Rs 10 lakh funding from the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati mandal and Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal. "The 14 CCTV cameras are installed and we are waiting for connectivity from BSNL," said Bharat Junnarkar, director, Junnarkar Technology.
Mahesh Salokhe, in-charge of the CCTV project, said: "We can't start the network unless BSNL gives technical support, but it shall be done soon." Makarand Ranade DCP (Special Branch) said the issue of making the 14 CCTV cameras functional was being pursued at a high level. "We shall convey the developments soon," he said.
Mayor Rajpal, who had announced the funding of Rs 10 lakh for the 14 cameras in the city during the Ganapati festival, said: "I will give the amount to the PMC Traffic Department and it shall install the CCTV network as suggested by the police. We are concerned about citizens' security and giving the amount to the police is not an issue at all."
Mahesh Suryawanshi, treasurer, Dagdushet Ganapati Trust, said: "We will keep our promise. The amount shall be given to the police after the cameras become functional. The issue of getting BSNL connectivity is still there. How can we pay the amount if the system is not yet working?"