NEARLY a year after the Bombay High Court ordered the installation of CCTV cameras at police stations, the state government has approved a proposal for over 400 such cameras in 25 select police stations in the city. The Home Ministry, earlier this week, gave the financial go-ahead for the project, which is being carried out on a pilot basis and will cost the state exchequer Rs 65 lakh.
A division Bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode had, in August last year, directed the state government to install CCTV cameras at police stations while hearing petitions filed by families of those who had died in custody. One of the petitions dealt with the April 2014 death of Agnello Valdaris at the Wadala railway police station. The HC had termed these deaths as alarming.
Despite repeated reminders by the court, the project had been stuck. Earlier this week, the government said it would call out tenders for the cameras. The state has decided that five CCTV cameras will suffice for each police station. The Bombay High Court wants the cameras to be placed in every corridor, room and lock-up of the police stations.
The state has decided to put up these cameras in two police stations in each of the 12 zones that constitute the Mumbai Commissionerate limits. The stations that have been selected include Colaba, MRA, VP Marg, DD Road, Wadala, Nagpada, Worli, Kalachowkie, RAK Marg, Mahim, Kurla, Chembur, Nehru Nagar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bandra Kurla Complex, Santa Cruz, Juhu, Powai, MIDC, Malad, Malvani, Dindoshi, Dahisar. A total of 124 rotating and 275 fixed CCTV cameras will be put up by the state.
“We will invite tenders from outside for the project. We are hoping that the entire process can be implemented within six months,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
The first batch of CCTV cameras that will monitor Mumbai will function from Monday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to formally inaugurate the operations of 1,000 CCTV cameras.