BMC holds back CCTV project for dumping grounds

A project to monitor three garbage dumping grounds of the city Deonar, Kanjurmarg and Mulund was held back by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday in its standing committee meeting. The committee restrained from approving the Rs 1.9-crore project with corporators citing lack of clarity in the operation.

In the pilot phase, only two close circuit camera televisions (CCTV) cameras will be leased for two months this year and two months in 2013. Four staffers will be deployed to monitor the screens in a move to avert dumping of debris and silt at the grounds.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani's admission that it was uncertain whether buying the cameras instead of leasing them would prove more cost-effective caused a furore in the meeting. "How can the BMC not do basic research before putting forth a proposal?" said Congress corporator Sheetal Mhatre of R-North Ward.

"We will see if the cost of buying these cameras is more feasible," said Adtani.

Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator of H-West ward and member of the standing committee, raised questions on the cost of the project.

"Why should it cost the BMC almost Rs 2 crore for 24 months to have hired cameras and men deployed at three sites? A CCTV camera used by the Bandra police costs approximately Rs 40,000 at maximum price. How many cameras are going to be deployed in these three areas?" He added that the lack of uniformity in the lease prices for cameras at the three different grounds was unfounded as all cameras are being sourced by the same supplier.

"There is no information on how many cameras and exit-entry points are going to be monitored," he said. Standing committee chairperson Rahul Shewale said: "We will ask the solid waste management department to come back with a more detailed proposal after which we will hold a discussion in the standing committee meeting for approval."

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