It’s not just the state government that incurred cost when it set up CCTV cameras to improve security in sensitive areas in Cuffe Parade and Colaba.
Local residents at whose homes the monitoring systems were set up have had to deal with higher electricity bills until four months ago when most of the CCTV cameras stopped working.
The Ansaris, who live in a ground plus one structure in Ambedkar Nagar slums near Cuffe Parade police station, allege that their power bill went up by Rs14,000 in the one year starting April 2012 when the cameras were working.
“When the area was terrorised because of the rapes and murders, the police approached us for help. When we allowed them to set up the equipment, we had no idea that we would have to pay. Over and above our regular electricity bill, we have had to pay at least Rs14,000 more,” said Khatija Ansari, 58, at whose place a recorder and footage monitoring system have been installed.
“For a few months, the camera operator came to check and maintain the CCTVs, but after that neither the police nor the operator have come. The cameras would keep rotating in al directions and the TV set used for monitoring the footage would be on 24x7 for which the electricity connection was given from our house,” Ansari said adding that the police did not negotiate with the power supplier to waive off the bill.
“The required funds are not available for keeping the cameras functional. We are also short-staffed,” said an officer from Cuffe Parade police station.