Ambitious plans to protect city yet to see light of day


POST-26/11, the Maharashtra police had brought out a huge shopping list for modernising the force but barely any hi-tech equipment has been bought over the last four years.

The state government had sought 2,500 bullet-proof jackets for the force. Tenders were called for the jackets initially, but officials dithered on taking a decision due to questions over quality. ATS chief Hemant Karkare was wearing a bullet-proof jacket when Kasab and his accomplice fired. The jacket went missing later.

The state government was expected to scrap the tender of supplying 82 bomb suits worth Rs 6.25 crore after the supplier failed to deliver the suits. After giving the supplier an initial payment, the government backtracked saying that the suits were made in China and not USA. The supplier was asked to present the suits for quality check and reply to a notice. No progress has been made.

"We have used most of the funds allotted after the attacks. Some procurement could not be done due to hurdles," said Home Minister R R Patil.

Moreover, the state government is yet to table an Action Taken Report (ATR) over the recommendations made by the two-member Ram Pradhan committee appointed by the government to probe the role and response of Mumbai police to the terror attack.

Meanwhile, with the second phase of tender now in progress, the ambitious CCTV project is also yet to take shape, four years after an old proposal was revived. The bids are yet to be sealed, with an extension given to the bidders, even as 800 queries have been forwarded to the home department. The project, expected to have 6,000 cameras across the city, is estimated to cross a budget of Rs 600 crore.

The government is also looking for a bidder who can integrate the new cameras with the existing ones. "We had a problem with the last tender, as at a late stage, there were differences between the system partners. This time, to ensure no such matter crops up, we have added legal pointers to the tender document," said an official. The department is also gearing up to prepare 15 technical and legal answers to clear queries and ensure that the bidding goes through the technical stage to the financial stage.

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