Nearly 90% of 263 CCTV cameras in Navi Mumbai are not functional, posing a security risk to the city.The cameras had helped the police in detecting crimes and rein in traffic violations. Sources said the contractor was not paid his dues, and hence, the maintenance services were discontinued. The 90% of the cameras have been reportedly shut since April 8, said sources. However, Ankush Chavan, NMMC additional municipal commissioner, said the standing committed had cleared the bill proposal for the contractor.
In the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, security of major cities was reviewed. Navi Mumbai was amongst the cities which were considered sensitive. This prompted the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to install CCTV cameras all over the city in May 2013. They have helped traffic police nab violators and criminals and enhance security preparedness. But with several cameras remaining nonfunctional, security officials feared that it may boost traffic violations and crimes in the city.
The NMMC plans to install 150 more cameras.
“It is shocking that the NMMC that has a budget of Rs3,000 crore has failed to pay just Rs 60 lakh — the annual cost of the CCTVC maintenance,” said a police source.
“Thanks to the CCTV cameras, the traffic police have been keeping a strict vigil on important roads such as Sion-Panvel highway, Thane-Belapur road, Palm Beach road and Airoli-Mulund, apart from busy chowks. The CCTV camera footage has provided important clues in solving crime and traffic violation cases. E-challans was also issued to errant drivers at chowks. All this had stopped 10 days ago.” he said.
The police said they have urged authorities to solve the issue. “We have informed the department concerned about it. We are trying to get the issue resolved at the earliest,” said Dilip Sawant, deputy commissioner of police (crime).