Mumbai may get another 5,000 CCTV cameras to fight street crimes

Mumbai may get another 5,000 CCTV surveillance cameras to curb street crimes and traffic offences. The state government has given its nod to upgrade the existing network of 4,717 cameras and integrate it with the Mumbai Police’s ‘Dial 100’ project to lower the present response time of 12 minutes.

The state cabinet also approved the upgradation of the CCTV surveillance system, increase in costs to Rs 980.34 crore and integration of the two projects. The Rs 949 crore Mumbai CCTV surveillance project was floated after the 26/11 terror attacks and a network of 4,717 cameras is installed at 1,510 sensitive locations. A senior home department official said they were evaluating a proposal by the Mumbai Police to install another 5,000 cameras. “These will be in sensitive areas, internal roads, slums, and localities with a record of street offences like crimes against women and children,” he said, adding it was expected to cost around Rs 400 crore.

The present contract has provisions to add 3,000 more cameras, the official said, adding they were considering if they could add additional cameras through this route based on a price discovery mechanism or float fresh tenders. The integration between the CCTV network and Dial 100 project will reduce the response time for the police from the present 12 minutes to six to seven minutes, an official explained, adding it would also enable GPS-tagging of calls to pinpoint the location of the caller. Police officials will be able to generate automatic alerts for nearby police units after they observe suspicious activity captured by surveillance cameras on their screens. The Dial 100 project includes upgradation of the Mumbai Police control room.

A senior official said Rs 930 crore had already been released for the project and work on the remaining components—satellite connectivity for the five mobile command and control centres and the picture intelligence unit (PIU) was on. The PIU will identify wanted criminals, undertrials, convicts from a database using video analytics and facial recognition systems assimilating databases of criminals.

It will contain integrated sound analytics to detect sounds of gunshots or breaking glass and generate an alarm. The state government recently approved linking the PIU with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) system. “The PIU will be operationalised in three months. Some costs for its components were also approved by the cabinet,” he added. “This is the largest such operational CCTV-based surveillance system in India. It has generated 8 lakh e-challans for traffic offences,” the official noted. The cost of the project have increased from Rs 949 crore to Rs 980 crore due to reasons like a change in the number of poles on which cameras were to be installed and connectivity