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Govt sleeps over CCTVs, Mumbai still unsafe


Yogita Limaye,CNN-IBN
Jul 21, 2011 at 06:40pm IST

New Delhi: No lessons have been learnt after 26/11 terror attack and the recent Mumbai blasts. CNN-IBN finds out why is it taking so long for authorities to install CCTVs in Maximum City and why so few people have been trained to monitor India's most attacked city Mumbai.

CNN-IBN gets details of the state of CCTV installations in Mumbai after the 26/11 terror attack.

Installing CCTVs across the city was one of the key recommendations in Ram Pradhan's 26/11 report. Only 100 CCTVs were installed in Mumbai as against the proposed 5000 CCTVs.

No personnel have been trained to monitor the CCTVs; it could lead to improper monitoring of the CCTVs.

The State security council set up after the 26/11 attacks had its second meeting only after the recent triple blasts.

IT experts say mass installation of CCTVs will not succeed without a 4G network.

The 13th July serial blasts. have left the Maharashtra state government scrambling to speed up the implementation of several security measures recommended post 26/11. First among them is setting up a CCTV camera network across Mumbai.

"cctvs were not bought because of red tape. Other crucial equipment was also not bought," said Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Chief Minister.

But details now with CNN-IBN clearly show that apart from announcements little happened on the ground post 26/11. The CCTV camera acquisition is a glaring example.

- 5000 CCTV cameras were proposed to be set up

- But only 100 were purchased as part of a pilot project

- Personnel were not hired and trained for monitoring the cameras set up

- Though IT experts are part of the 66 member Maharashtra state security council setup post 26/11

- the council met for only the second time on Wednesday after the triple blasts - that's 2.5 years since its first meeting in January 2009

The state government now wants to speed up the process of buying CCTV cameras but experts warn that implementing such a large project effectively needs attention to detail and patience.

"How are we going to take the high definition camera output and actually make sure that it reaches the control room. 3G networks all over the world have failed in their carrying of data. If you want to have low definition cameras, the 3G network will work. But if you want to give the city the best, then its better to wait 2-3 months, create the 4g network," said Vijay Mukhi, IT expert.

The man who prescribed solutions to secure the financial capital is fuming.

Apart from CCTV cameras, the government also claims to have reviewed security apparatus for coastal security, intelligence sharing and other recommendations of the Ram Pradhan committee and says 70 per cent of these have been met. The question is: will these measures go beyond knee jerk reactions and actually prove effective?

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