The ambitious pan-Mumbai CCTV surveillance project is inching closer to reality, with 1,200 locations in south Mumbai selected for installation of the cameras.
The project, in the pipeline for the past five years after the 26/11 attacks, was finally put on track after the BJP-led government signed a Rs 949-crore deal with Larsen & Toubro, for installation of 6,000 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the city.
Highly-placed sources in the Mumbai police told HT the survey for identifying places to install cameras in south Mumbai was conducted by experts from L&T and the city police, and was concluded over the weekend.
Now, a proposal will be sent to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to allocate space for raising platforms to mount the cameras at these spots. None of the 1,200 locations fall in privately-owned areas. The installation is likely to be over by August.
Sources said the Mumbai police’s zone II area, comprising places such as Pydhonie, LT Marg, VP Road, DB Marg, Gamdevi and Malabar Hill, will have the most number of cameras.
“This area consists of business districts such as Mumbadevi, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House, which have been repeatedly targeted by terrorists. Moreover, the area also houses many VVIPs, including the governor and the chief minister’s residences (in Malabar Hill), apart from the thickly populated walled city areas,” a source said.
Spots for the CCTV cameras have been carefully chosen, so that the surveillance area of one camera begins at the end of the coverage point of another.
To avoid any sabotage or mischief to disconnect the cameras, fibre optic cables will be laid deep inside the ground to connect with the control room, to be set up at the Mumbai police commissioner’s compound at Crawford Market. However, at places where it is difficult to spread the cable, the connection will be wireless, sources said, adding that cameras at Malabar Hill will mostly be wire-free.
Cameras capable of directional and zoom control will be used in the project, while at some points along the sea front, thermal-censor cameras will also be used.
According to the initial blue-print, the coast line will have 20 thermal cameras while all the cameras will be connected to two command centres – at the Mumbai commissioner’s office and the other at Kalina.
The traffic police headquarters will also have a centre for traffic management.
Access to the feeds will be possible at all police stations as well as at the DCP and Regional Additional CP’s offices.