The State government claims to have solved over 1,000 crimes in Mumbai and Pune over the past two years with the help of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Latest data released by the State Home Department shows 1,100 crimes have been solved and nearly 972 arrests made in the financial capital and in Pune since the network was activated, senior officials said. Since 2017, the government has installed 9,800 CCTV cameras in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur for maintaining law and order in public places. “For us, controlling religious and public festivals, morchas, protests, rallies and elections effectively has become possible due to these CCTV cameras,” said a Home Department official.
The government has started various projects in the past five years to maintain law and order, including CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System) and installing CCTV cameras at public places, officials said. The data shows over 5,000 cameras are installed in 1,510 spots in Mumbai. They have generated about 7,00,000 e-challans for violation of traffic rules. Nearly 2,100 pieces of footage in Mumbai have been used to solve many crimes, and an additional 5,625 cameras have been approved for Mumbai city, officials said.
In Pune, 14,00,000 e-challans for traffic violations were generated in the same period, which came to light through CCTV footage. The city has 1,243 cameras installed at 425 spots. The CCTV footage has come in handy to solve 216 crimes in the period, said officials.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had inaugurated the CCTV network in 2016 in several cities, but it became fully operational in 2017. It includes fixed box cameras, pan, tilt and zoom cameras, thermal cameras and five mobile video surveillance vans.
The feed from all cameras is transferred to the Mumbai Police and traffic police control rooms. Activists and social organisations, however, had raised doubts about the technical capabilities and limitations of the network, saying it had failed to provide accurate footage in the molestation of a Russian tourist and a murder case in Goregaon last year. Calling for an audit of the network, activists have been demanding that more cameras be installed for a densely populated city like Mumbai.