Mumbai CCTV project committee disbanded

Fed up of hiccups in the tendering of the for Mumbai, the Maharashtra cabinet has suspended the high-power committee set up to scrutinize project bids. The panel, which had been given powers to examine bids and place orders without seeking state nod, included chief secretary J K Banthia, secretaries of the home, finance, revenue, law and information technology departments, the DGP director general of police and the police commissioner. But sources said that of late there had been differences of opinion between panel members on various aspects.

Home Minister R R Patil had pointed out to the cabinet that the DF government had been sending voters signals that big-ticket projects were getting stuck at the committee level itself and there was not enough political will for them to even go past the tendering stage. At this point, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar opined that if need be, the CCTV committee be discontinued and powers be vested back with the home department.

“The home minister pointed out that he had been facing flak for delays in the project so it would serve him better if the process of going through the committee could be avoided,” said a cabinet minister. The state has twice called off tenders for the installation of 6,000 CCTV cameras across the city. Currently, it is negotiating with the second bidder of the latest bid, AGC, which submitted an offer of around Rs 1,000 crore for the estimated Rs 864-crore CCTV surveillance cover.

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