Canteen contractor does MSRTC job, installs CCTV cameras at bus-stand

Their repeated requests to install security apparatus at the busy Shivajinagar bus-stand having fallen on deaf ears, the Shivajinagar police are seeking "sponsorship" from shop-owners on the bus-stand premises for installing CCTV cameras. Five cameras have been already installed with monetary help from the State Transport (ST) canteen contractor and some shop-owners. The canteen contractor has apparently pitched in with Rs 50,000.

While this is better than having no CCTV at all, police sources say it is unlikely to be of use in preventing untoward incidents, as the monitoring system in the canteen area is not supervised by either the depot authority or the police. The monitor is installed behind the cash counter of the canteen and the manager sits with his back to it.

There is one camera at the exit gate while four others are on the premises. The night-vision cameras have a 20-metre range. Officials said a search was on for a "sponsor" for installation of a CCTV camera at the entry gate.

Of the four major bus-stands in the city, Shivajinagar comes second after Swargate in terms of commuter rush, with a daily footfall of 40,000.

After the German Bakery blast in 2010, and driver Santosh Mane causing death and destruction by rashly driving a bus in 2012, the Pune Police had been repeatedly requesting the MSRTC to install CCTVs at all four bus-stands in the city, and in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Citizens' groups were also expressing concern over lack of security systems at the crowded bus-stands. However, the State Transport body has failed to do the needful citing financial crunch.

An official with Pune division of the MSRTC said, "After the German Bakery incident, we conducted a security review and prepared a proposal to procure vigilance equipment. We proposed about 30 CCTV cameras, a couple of door-frame metal detectors and a few hand-held detectors for Shivajinagar bus-stand. The cost ran into several lakhs. Similar proposals were sent from other depots in the city. The MSRTC headquarters never supplied the equipment saying there was no money."

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