Terror threat in Pune during Ganeshotsav, CCTV plan still stuck

Sep 05, 2011, 08:37 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Even after identification of 72 important places in city, installation of CCTV cameras pending at several spots

Even after identification of 72 important places in city, installation of CCTV cameras pending at several spots

Is the city safe this Ganapati festival? Even after a warning about a terror attack during Ganeshotsav, no CCTV cameras have been installed at many of the strategic points in the city. Commissioner of Police Meeran Chadha Borwankar recently said there was a terror threat during the festival in the city. But even after outlining 72 important places in the city, the CCTVs at many places remain missing.

City needs more of the same: A CCTV camera at Gajanan Maharaj
File pic

In a meeting two days prior to the Ganapati festival, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar along with Borwankar, Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal, Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Yogesh Behl and District Collector Vikas Deshmukh had outlined the 72 strategic locations, including the Iskcon temple, Chabad House, restaurants Vaishali and Rupali on FC Road, the Osho commune and the British Library. Talking about the PMC and police inaction, Rajpal said: "Even after I have donated a sum of Rs 10 lakh, the police have failed to send a complete list of places where the CCTVs need to be installed.

 The tender for the installation of CCTV is also getting delayed because of this and I agree that the PMC has also delayed this from their end. From each ward and Dadgusheth Ganapati and some MLAs have also contributed a sizeable amount for the security measures in the city. In fact, proper networking of over 1000 CCTV cameras worth Rs 5 crore was planned."

Rajpal added that even though the list from some of the city police stations had arrived, the PMC was waiting for the entire list. "Ganapati has already started and we are way behind schedule. This is a question of security measures in the city and we can not take it lightly," Rajpal said.

The police said installation of CCTVs at Tulshibaug, Mandai Mandal and Dagdusheth Mandal had been done with the contribution made by the Mayor and Dadgusheth Ganapati mandal. "We are waiting for the rest of the CCTV installations. The work is not yet done as there appears to be some administrative issue from the PMC side. Fortunately, the state government has granted Rs 1 crore for the same," said Dnyaneshwar Phadtare, DCP Zone I. "I am sure that the work is gaining momentum."

DCP (Special Branch) Makarand Ranade said the CCTV installations should have been done before the Ganeshotsav as the issue was discussed two months ago. "I really don't know what happened. Now I hope that at least the proposed installation of 100 CCTV cameras in the immersion path from Sant Kabir Chowk to Alka talkies chowk should be completed before the immersion day of Ganapati festival," he said.

Mandal workers say
Only some important Ganesh Mandals have installed CCTVs and not the police or the PMC. When the municipal corporation and the police have been assigned the responsibility, it is our turn to ask them why these things are not happening as per the given promise. There is a terrorist threat and it should have been done much earlier.
-- Pratap Pardeshi, Anubandh Seva Prathishthan
It is strange that five days of Ganpati Utsav are over and the issue of CCTV is yet not getting solved by the police or the PMC. It is equally ironic that the police are not giving permission to install box arches and are giving the reason of possible terror attack and bomb blast. DCP Makarand Ranade has made the proposal a few days before Ganapati Utsav and nothing has happened
-- Parag Thakur, President, Shaniwar Peth Mehunpura Mandal

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