A year after terror attack: Pune remains off camera, PMC blames government

Jul 31, 2013, 00:33 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

Civic officials say a decision on the matter has to be taken by the home ministry, which is waiting for a nod for the project from the state's finance department

It’s not just the citizenry that’s to be blamed. The administration itself seems to have cast the events of August 1, 2012, out of its mind. Consequently when MiD DAY asked Pune Municipal Corporation officials why CCTV cameras are yet to be instated on Jangali Maharaj (JM) Road where the blasts took place, civic officials blamed the state government for not taking a decision on the matter.

CCTV Camera
Keeping watch: A CCTV camera at Appa Balwant Chowk. File Pic

“Security is the responsibility of the state government’s home ministry. Civic body can only offer cooperation. We have submitted a detailed report to the ministry. What else can we do? Our part is over. The onus of taking a decision is on the state government. We have not received any response regarding this issue,” said municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak.

Along with the police, PMC had conducted a survey and identified 1,200 chowks in the city for installing CCTV cameras. An exhaustive survey was conducted, including the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad, and the precise requirement for cameras was assessed. As per PMC’s plan, having a single control room for all cameras would help maintain proper vigilance throughout the city.

At present, the civic administration has a network of around 40 cameras, which were installed using MLA and MP funds. However, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had instructed that funds of MLAs, MLCs and MPs should not be used for such purposes, and that the state government would make separate provision for that. The home ministry has sent a proposal of Rs 338 crore for the initiative, which is yet to be approved by the finance ministry.

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When Ajit Pawar had resigned over the irrigation scam, the responsibility for the CCTV programme was assigned to chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthiya. A week ago MLA Girish Bapat had asked about the status of the project in the assembly. Banthiya had replied that the proposal was being processed. Reproaching him for taking unnecessary time, speaker Dilip Walse-Patil had ordered Banthiya to take immediate action by appointing a special committee. The chief secretary had assured to implement the project in next six months.

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