Steps proposed after bakery blast still only on paper
From sprucing up security at 100 vital spots that included hotels, restaurants, malls, schools and hospitals to new police stations and strengthening surveillance by installing CCTV cameras and metal detectors, several proposals were made after the German Bakery blast last year, but hardly any of these have seen the light of day
From sprucing up security at 100 vital spots that included hotels, restaurants, malls, schools and hospitals to new police stations and strengthening surveillance by installing CCTV cameras and metal detectors, several proposals were made after the German Bakery blast last year, but hardly any of these have seen the light of day.
MiD DAY brings you the details on the security measures proposed and their status today.
CCTV cameras and doorframe metal detectors were what the police recommended to most major and tertiary-care private and public hospitals.
Sassoon has not implemented the suggestion to
install CCTVs and doorframe metal detectors
While most private hospitals have spruced up their security measures, public hospitals remain a concern.
A day after the German Bakery blast, the police had a closed-door meeting with authorities at the Sassoon General Hospital where they asked for the blueprint of the premises as well as discussed comprehensive security arrangements, including metal doorframe detectors, CCTV cameras, baggage scanners and designated entry and exit points.
While the hospital has restricted entry and exit points, there are no doorframe detectors or CCTV cameras in sight.
Dr Pravin Shengare, joint director, Directorate of Technical Education and Research (DMER), said that a review has already been conducted of security arrangements needed and a budget has been prepared which is in the final stages of approval.
"We have a proposal to recruit 800 more security personnel for hospitals across the state; Sassoon hospital is to get a bigger staff too. Also, security equipment like metal detectors and CCTV cameras are to be purchased, the budget for this is to be approved," he said.
The police had also issued a circular instructing schools and colleges to install security equipment like CCTV cameras on premises but it didn't get much response.
Many city colleges have either installed or are in process of installing cameras, the numbers of schools who have paid heed to the proposal are merely a handful.
Colleges like BMCC, Fergusson College and Wadia College have already installed cameras while some like MMCC College are in the process.
The University of Pune, which was also in the recent list of the police for locations that could be a terror target, has installed CCTV cameras on campus. Executive engineer R V Patil confirmed that eight locations have cameras which are usually monitored in cases of thefts.
While Kalmadi Shyamrao High School is one of few schools getting CCTV cameras installed, schools cite lack of finances or thought for not installing security equipment on campus.
"I'll be honest, we didn't think it was quite serious an issue for us to install cameras. But we'll consider it now," said Meena Chandavarkar, when asked why the school hadn't installed CCTV cameras.
Pune rly station
A proposal for bag scanners at the second entrance besides the main entrance is still pending since the last year-and-half. Officials say the project is yet to be cleared by the Railway Board.
The Pune railway station is however a relatively secure transport facility which has a bag scanner in the main entrance manned by Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel. Passengers wanting to keep bags in the luggage room have to compulsorily get their bags scanned, which are then tagged after getting their tickets verified.
Platforms and the Foot Over Bridges are also sufficiently scanned by CCTV cameras. RPF Divisional Security Officer Ashok Singh said the number of rounds made by RPF personnel has been increased and physical surveillance of passenger movement has been increased at places lacking electronic security.
"The platforms at the far end which can easily be accessed by nearby bridges are patrolled during the night when they are deserted," he said.
A proposal was tabled to install 44 CCTV cameras at Shivaji Nagar's PMC building last year. 16 CCTV cameras were installed post GB blasts while 28 cameras were installed in February this year.
"We also have seven metal detectors and two handheld metal detectors used during the VIP," said Santosh Pawar, chief security officer, PMC.
He added that hi-tech equipment like retractable bollards and retractable spikes have also been proposed but it is pending for non-availability of funds. The new system costs Rs 30 lakh.
The scene at the RTO is most pathetic since the office is the least secured amongst all government offices in the city. Regional Transport Officer Arun Yeola said the office has written to Transport Department in Mumbai a week ago for sanctioning funds for security apparatus.
The RTO is among the least secured government offices
"We don't even have unarmed guards, so forget CCTV cameras and metal detectors. With the rising attacks in government offices, we are genuinely worried about the security of people of our office. Moreover, the RTO has over 300 bikes in the parking lot at any hour.
Any bomb blast would bring down the whole building", he said. For minimal electronic surveillance of the parking and the main office, Rs 20 lakh would be enough. About 7,000 people visit the RTO everyday.
A proposal of Rs 12 lakh for installing nine CCTVs at various spots in the five-acre complex of the Collector's Office had been made but none have been installed so far.
There are only three security personnel who work in shifts and merely note down the vehicle numbers.
The Collector's office has not installed CCTVs
Anil Pawar, Resident District Collector, said: "We don't have any CCTV but are planning to install when the new building shall be made."