With the state government making budgetary provision to up the internet speed from 512kbps to 2mbps, filing first information reports (FIR) online and accessing criminal records is likely to becomes less tedious for the investigating officers of the 1,054 police stations across Maharashtra.
The home department has decided to make a budgetary provision of Rs9 crore to provider a connection across all police stations. Once approved in the budget that is to be presented on March 18, the project will become a reality within in a month.
“Under the central government-funded Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), we have the infrastructure in place at 1,054 out of 1,109 police stations. Though online FIR is mandatory, investigating officers are facing lot of problems owing to the slow internet connection. After several meetings with the home department, the budgetary allocation was made and we expect it to get the final nod in the state budget. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis wanted to upgrade the connectivity by allotting 10mbps, but it would have cost much higher,” said an official from home department.
Owing to high quantum of complaints, the official added that problems faced by 90-odd police stations were severe as compared to the rest.
“We are also facing problems while updating charts and photographs because of the slow connectivity. We will now be able to upload them along with the fingerprints, which will help us during investigations. We also are launching Automated Multimodal Biometric Identification System (AMBIS), in which fingerprints, iris and face recognition details of the accused will be recorded. The upgraded speed will help us better the level of information sharing across state,” additional director general of police (CID) Sanjay Kumar, who is also in-charge of CCTNS, said.
Slow speed issues
Though the state has made filing online FIRs mandatory, police officers said they were finding it difficult to complete the procedure owing to the slow internet connectivity. They were forced to file FIRs manually and then upload them. Similarly, officers were unable to access data such as fingerprints, collected evidence while probing cases. Moreover, cops were unable to use various applications they launched owing to the connectivity issues.
The Rs110-crore CCTNS mechanism has been set up at all the police stations, with funding and maintenance by the centre for the first year. The state has made a budgetary provision of Rs25 crore for maintaining CCTNS. The systems aims at bettering interaction and sharing information among police stations, state offices and other security agencies, reduce manual and redundant record maintenance, and track progress of cases.