Freedom First
Freedom First

Home » Archive

Issue No.: 561 | March 2014
 

CCTV Confusion

“Sardar” Sanjay Matkar
back
Maharashtra Government officials have shown a distinct lack of knowledge on how the system should be designed, deployed and how it should function!

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is the new mantra of security. The Maharashtra Govt. has floated tenders for CCTV surveillance systems in the cities of Pune, Nashik , Nagpur, besides the most prominent Mumbai. The CCTV surveillance system in Mumbai envisages 6,000 CCTV cameras spread all over the city and will take five years to be installed and become operational.

The project has had setbacks since its very conception. Tendered three times, and once granted to Gujarat based Sai Infotech System for Rs. 650 crores, the project did not materialize since the vendor was unable to provide the requisite bank guarantee. What is most interesting about this specific case is that the original offer from Sai Infotech was for Rs. 1,051 crores. No explanation was asked by the Maharashtra Govt. about the reduction in quote by 50% by the vendor or if such an explanation was given, the Government did not feel the need to share it with the people of Mumbai.

Groping in the Dark

So, what is wrong with this entire deal? First and foremost, the Maharashtra Govt. officials have shown a distinct lack of knowledge on how the system should be designed, deployed and most important how it should function. The tender documents are sold by the State’s Home Department at a cost of Rs. 50,000 per set and requires that the vendor must give a signed undertaking to not divulge the design concepts of the required CCTV system since it is "highly confidential”. This is quite amusing since detailed designs of city wide CCTV systems already deployed in London (UK), Seattle City and Boston City (USA) are available on the internet for those who would like to look for it. The fact is that the Maharashtra Home Department’s babus have no idea what is needed. CCTV system is supposed to aid the Police and Intelligence agencies to:
  1. keep under surveillance areas that have a high crime rate or potential to be either the base of terrorists  or the target of their attack, 
  2. observe the flow of traffic (pedestrians and vehicles) in high risk areas to assess potential law and order problems and take action to contain such problems in the shortest possible time, and
  3. use CCTV footage to analyze the crime and detect the perpetrators in case of a disturbance or terror attack.
Why Use Outdated Technology?

The CCTV surveillance system that is currently being tendered by the Maharashtra Govt. at a cost of Rs. 640 crores involves use of decades old technology using analogue signals. The latest technology uses digital signals transmitted over wireless network better in quality, speed and more accurate in imaging. (In pure layman terms; the former technology is like old style TV signals over an antenna, and latter is HDTV signal via satellite dish). 

In terms of expenditure; the analogue technology will involve digging a few hundred kilometres of trenches all over the city to lay the fibre optic cable – a major portion of un-necessary cost – and will also involve setting up outdated camera systems. Add to that other factors such as earnest money, performance bank guarantee, political kick-backs, etc. and the public exchequer will pay a heavy price for a system that will ultimately not be useful and / or will fail in its purpose, not to mention the time required to set up the system.

On the other hand, using digital signals will not only give a wider and saturated coverage of the city, but will also give better picture quality and faster transmission time. The signals will be relayed via the existing mobile telephony network, totally doing away with the cost of laying out a fibre optic cable network. Digital technology enables facilitate face and gait recognition. Additionally, such a system comprising 6,000 to even 10,000 digital cameras will not cost more than Rs 100 crores and can be deployed in six to eight months. Furthermore, existing CCTV systems at the airport terminals, Mumbai dockyards, or any other existing facility over a 25 Kilometre range can be seamlessly included into the network via a grid system.

Such systems and software designed in India by local engineers are deployed abroad by Indians and / or Indian companies. However, the government procurement procedures, designed to be inflexible so that only the privileged handful of companies will qualify for undertaking these projects, has made it impossible for the intelligence and police services to utilize this important technology that will assure the general public of higher standards of crime prevention and ultimate safety of life and property. 

"SARDAR” SANJAY MATKAR is a Nationalist,
Humanitarian. He believes in equality for all citizens under a single national flag. 
Email: sanjaymatkar@hotmail.com
 
back

Share

 
 
 

Archive

 
 

Other Articles in this Issue

Editorial

What is this Aam Aadmi Party and What Does it Stand For

S. V. Raju
 

Obituary

Professor Vijay Kumar Sinha (September 26, 1933 - January 22, 2014)

S. V. Raju
 

Reflections

Aam Aadmi Party - Confusion Compounded

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Changing political landscape in India

Bapu Satyanarayana
 

Power and Populism

Ranga Kota
 

Reflections on India’s Continued Economic Drift

Sunil S. Bhandare
 

Point - Counterpoint: Every issue has at least two sides

The Anarch

Ashok Karnik
 

Operation Bluestar & The British

Ashok Karnik
 

NCP’s Tango

Ashok Karnik
 

Babus’ Post-Retirement Jobs

Ashok Karnik
 

Cornucopia

Is Indian Media Becoming Shallow?

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Narendra Modi - A Man for All Seasons

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Foreign Relations

Manmohan Singh and India’s Foreign Policy - Part II

B. Ramesh Babu
 

The Rural Perspective

The Lessons learnt at ‘Angarmala’

Sharad Joshi
 

Swatantra Bharat Paksha abstains from participating in the 2014 Elections

Sharad Joshi
 

Reports

The Case of Helicopters for VVIPs

Suresh C. Sharma
 

The Magnificent Deeds of the Indian Army

Raj Mohindra
 

Perspectives

Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy

J. S. Apte
 

CCTV Confusion

“Sardar” Sanjay Matkar
 

A Mantra for Better Governance

Gogineni Sambasivarao
 

Personalities

Rambhau Mhalgi: An exceptional Aamdaar

M. B. Damania
 

Legacy of Maulana Azad

Dr. T. H.Chowdary
 

Educating Adults

The Way Ahead: Norms for Recognition

Suresh C. Sharma
 

Jamboree and Junket in the Aftermath of Muzaffarnagar Riots

Dr. Jyoti Marwah
 

Muzaffarnagar Riots: Democracy Under Threat

Dr. R. K. Cheema
 

From Our Readers

Prof. Sheryar Ookerjee

S. C. Panda
 

New York Times Rattled

K.Vaithinathasamy
 

On the FF560 Editorial

N. R. Balakrishnan
 

On the FF560 Editorial

Prakash Pandey
 

On the FF560 Editorial

Ashish Sanyal
 

On the FF560 Editorial

Rohit Singh
 

On the FF560 Editorial

B. Ramesh Babu
 

On the FF560 Editorial

Sankar Ramamurthy
 

Disability Pensions

Brig Suresh Sharma
 

Missing buffaloes

Phiroze B. Javeri
 

Nostalgia

This Month in March 1957

The Paradox of Jawaharlal Nehru
 

In Case You Have Not Heard This One

Alexander’s Failed Invasion of India

 

Street Radicalism

M. J. Akbar
 

The Dynasty’s Scorched-Earth Policy

Vinod Saighal
 

The Health of Democracy

The Economist
 

Will Maharashtra listen?

R. N. Bhaske
 

A Lost Opportunity

The Hindu
 

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan interaction with children

Times of India
 
 
The journal of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom
© Copyright Freedom First. All rights reserved.
Freedom First
3rd Floor, Army and Navy Building,
148, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Mumbai - 400001. INDIA
Email: freedomfirst1952@gmail.com
Home
Freedom First Archives
Quest Archives
Contact Us
About Us
About ICCF
About Freedom First
About Quest
Publications
Swatantra Party
Introduction
Swatantra Party Documents
Sitemap