In an apparent snub to NCP colleague and home minister RR Patil, Mumbai's guardian minister and rural development minister Jayant Patil on Monday said he does not know why the project of installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the city has not taken off despite him having cleared the proposal during his tenure.
Jayant Patil had taken over as state home minister after RR Patil was shown the door because of his casual remarks, which triggered public anger following the 26/11 attacks.
"During my tenure after the November 2008 terrorist attacks, I had cleared the proposal to install 5,000 CCTVs, but I am not aware of what has happened after that," he said.
When asked what could have happened, he said: "You should ask RR Patil what happened to that proposal as the file is with him." Jayant Patil had been keen to install CCTVs as he said it was not possible to station policemen at all places in the city.
RR Patil got the portfolio after the 2009 Assembly elections when the Congress-NCP retained power.
The Indian Merchants Chamber had offered to bear the cost and install CCTVs at strategic places across the city. The footage generated would be monitored by the police control room.
"We gave the proposal two years ago, but we don't know its status," said Niranjan Hiranandani, vice-president, IMC.
RR Patil on Monday cancelled the meeting to discuss the installation of CCTVs to rush to Delhi for a meeting with his party chief Sharad Pawar.
Commenting on the development, Eknath Khadse, Opposition leader in the state Assembly, said it reflected the government's non-serious attitude.
"This only shows the state has not learnt its lesson from the 2008 attacks or the Wednesday blasts," he said.