Maharashtra government to widen CCTV network, add 5,000 more cameras to keep an eye on Mumbai

Hindustan Times | BySurendra P Gangan, Mumbai
Oct 24, 2018 12:25 AM IST

The home department has submitted a proposal to widen the scope of CCTV surveillance in Mumbai by adding 5,000 cameras to the existing network.

The home department has submitted a proposal to widen the scope of CCTV surveillance in Mumbai by adding 5,000 cameras to the existing network.

CCTV camera. (HT illustration)
CCTV camera. (HT illustration)

In a related development, the state cabinet approved the integration of Mumbai Police’s Dial 100 control room with the CCTV network, which is expected to enable the police to identify the location of a complainant using location-based services.

A state government official said the CCTV network has played a vital role curbing the city’s crime rate since it went live in 2017.

On Tuesday, the state cabinet was briefed about the proposal to add 5,000 cameras to Mumbai’s CCTV network by additional chief secretary (home) Sunil Porwal, following which chief minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the department to expedite the work.

The final decision will be taken by a committee led by the chief secretary, which will decide on the details of the fresh tender that will be necessary for this project. “The agreement with Larsen & Toubro signed in February 2015 for the implementation of the project has a provision for adding 3,000 more cameras. If we decide to add 5,000 cameras, we will have to go for a fresh tender. The question before us is whether to go for a tender for 2,000 cameras or for the entire installation of 5,000 cameras,” said an official from the home department, on condition of anonymity.

The current CCTV surveillance network was installed by the state following the recommendations of the Pradhan Committee Report, which investigated the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai.

Since September 2017, the city has 4,746 cameras fixed on 2,293 poles at 1,512 locations. One example of the network’s effectiveness since it was set up is that more than 8 lakh e-challans have been issued to motorists for violation of traffic rules.

An official from the home department said, “We are convinced about the need of the widening of the scope of the network as it has proved to be one of the best operational networks in the world.” The expected cost of the additional cameras is 400 crore.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved integrating the Dial 100 control room with the city’s CCTV network and also cleared cost escalation of the existing surveillance network from 949 crore to 980 crore.

The modernisation of the Dial 100 control room will help the police reduce response time by half to six minutes from the existing average of 12 minutes.

“Its linking with the CCTV network will help identify location of the caller and alerting the nearest patrol van enabled with the GPS. Currently, valuable time is lost in gathering information and disseminating it to the field level officials,” an official said.

The integration will help complete linking other units, like the picture intelligence unit (which will have capacity of storage of one lakh images of criminals) with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) as well as the satellite linking of five mobile command and control vans used in CCTV network. “There were about eight such small works under the surveillance network which were given the nod today,” said an official.

The upgradation of the control room of the Mumbai police, which has cost government 11 crore and is underway, will help reduce the response time from the existing 12 minutes. “We were directed to expedite all upgradation works related to the surveillance,” said an officer from the home department.

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