A random inspection of the electronic surveillance system of the Mumbai police on Wednesday, found that the Global Positioning System (GPS) in as many as 30 vehicles were malfunctioning, or not functioning at all.
The faux pas came to the notice of the newly appointed police commissioner Arup Patnaik, who was inspecting the police control room to oversee the working condition as well functioning of the men and the machines deployed therein.
The control room had come under sharp criticism of the Ram Pradhan Committee, which had probed lapses in the police response during the November 26, 2008 terror attacks.
It had called for upgradation of the control room as well as shifting its location in order to improve the working condition. Though the control room continues to remain at its earlier location, at the Mumbai police headquarters at Crawford market, many systemic technological upgradation had taken place since 2008.
During Patnaik’s inspection, location of these 30 vehicles could not be ascertained on the giant monitors at the police control room due to the faulty GPS.
“I was told technical faults in the equipment led to malfunctioning of the GPS system,” Patnaik said.
The faulty vehicles were immediately called to the police commissionerate compound and contractors were called in as well to rectify these technical glitches.
It may be recalled that a massive project to enable police vehicles with GPS and GIS (Geographical Information System) had started in 2007.
Apart from 500 police vehicles, some motorcycles of beat marshals are also equipped with these satellite surveillance systems. The system comes handy in tracking the movement of the police vehicles and dispatching them to a crisis point in the shortest possible time.