The much-delayed CCTV project for Mumbai may see the light of day in the near future as the Maharashtra government on Saturday invited tenders for the Rs600cr programme for the fourth time. This time, it has tweaked the financial model to attract more bidders.
The state has decided to give 10% of the project cost to the lowest bidder as an advance so that he can start the work, while 80% of the capital expenditure (CAPEX) will reimbursed once the project becomes functional.
Following the 26/11 terror attacks, which saw 10 Pakistani terrorists wreaking havoc in Mumbai and killing 166 people, the state had decided to set up a network of 6,000 close-circuit television cameras to improve security cover for the city.
However, the project has run into trouble multiple times.
"First time, the contractor got embroiled in some dispute with his partner and the project could not take off. On the second occasion, it was stalled after the chosen bidder suffered financial problems. When we invited the tender for the third time, no bidder came forward," said a home department official.
Under the programme, the CCTV cameras will be installed at important locations across the city. While about 4,800 digital eyes will be wired, the remaining will have wireless linkage with the control room.
"There will be video walls at five regional offices of the police and will be manned by a dedicated staff. They can be used for various purposes such as radio broadcasting to alert people about road congestion, traffic police vigil and manning by the local police," said another official.
The home department official said that the multi-crore project involves a lot of financial risk for the bidders and hence they have been cautious while bidding. He added, "The government will give 10% advance to the lowest bidder and give 80% of CAPEX to the company once the project is functional. The remaining money (operational expenditure) will be paid in quarterly instalments."