Mumbai Get’s CCTV to Protect City
On November 26, 2008, Mumbai, India was rocked and thrown into a state of terror by a series of terrorist attacks. The attackers swept through the city quickly, resulting in many deaths and injuries. Now, over three years later, the city of Mumbai is implanting the installation of several CCTV security surveillance cameras to keep an eye on their city at all times. The system has been modeled to emulate London’s CCTV security surveillance system, which is one of the best government-implemented surveillance systems in the world.
The first talks of having CCTV security surveillance across the city of Mumbai came immediately following the terror attacks, known as the 26/11 attacks. The plan was to set up 5,000 CCTV security surveillance cameras, but red tape did not allow the plan to see fruition. Then, following more terror attacks last year, the plan began to garner more attention.
Soon after the bombings last year, several high ranking officials in the police department, as well as some from the city and state departments, took an educational trip to London to learn more about how they implemented their CCTV security surveillance system.
A home department official, when asked about the delay in setting up the system, said, “The proposal was to reach the state cabinet a little before 13/7 [bombings], but when the triple blasts took place, we held the proposal back to expand its scope.”
On Monday, the state chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad cleared the proposal to buy 6,000 CCTV cameras. There are already 400 cameras in Mumbai, and these cameras will be integrated into the new surveillance system. All of the cameras will be intricately connected to a central system, which will monitor the entire city, spanning 437 sq km.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Gaikwad said, “The work orders will be released in a month’s time and all the cameras will be installed in a year’s time. If the cameras are not installed in time, there are stringent provisions for action against the contractor.” Top officials of the state government said that the Request for Proposal (RFQ) will soon be issued and one of the seven companies shortlisted by the government will be selected.
Some of these cameras will have automated licanse plate recognition, meaning they will be able to zoom in license plates of cars and other vehicles in order to recognize them. “This means that as soon as a car registration number is keyed into the system, these cameras will be able to detect the vehicles passing through them and alert the control room,” a top official said.
These cameras will be installed outside railway stations, at traffic junctions, and all the vital points across the city. The grid will also be linked to cameras fitted inside malls, vital installations, railway stations and BEST buses and bus depots.
Each of the 93 police stations in the city will get a feed of these cameras fitted in its jurisdiction.
The 6,000 cameras will also be connected to a central control room to be housed at the Police Commissioner Station, where video walls will be put up, much like the ones seen in crime dramas like CSI. Feeds from 10 video cameras can be seen on each wall. The home department is also recruiting a cadre of 700 men to monitor the cameras on a 24 x 7 basis.