In the wake of the triple blasts in Mumbai last week, the Maharashtra government is taking notes on the security arrangements which were in place during last year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told journalists here on Tuesday that a team of technical experts had gone to Delhi to seek information on the security infrastructure created for the Games. A decision on installing around 5,000 CCTV cameras across Mumbai in a phased manner was on the cards.
On Tuesday, non-governmental organisations made presentations on the issue. Mr. Chavan said they would also enlist the help of foreign agencies.
Speaking after chairing three rounds of presentations on CCTV installation, he said: “Some days ago there was a visit by foreign experts. We are looking to strengthen our collaborations. We have sought information on the kind of measures in other States and countries.”
The government had already established a rapport with Scotland Yard by way of training programmes for the State police.
“We are in touch with Scotland Yard. A group of experts from Yard had conducted some training programmes here. Our officers have also gone there to receive training in certain areas. We will strengthen this collaboration further. If needed, our teams can go to London or invite officers from there,” Mr. Chavan said.
Mr. Chavan said the government was set to take a decision soon on reducing the discretionary powers of officials in the Mumbai civic body. In the light of a slew of corruption cases such as the CWG and Adarsh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had written letters to Union Ministers and Chief Ministers asking them to give up their discretionary powers.
“When I took over as Chief Minister, I reviewed the discretionary powers of the government. The Congress, in its plenary session, had asked its Ministers to reduce discretionary powers wherever possible. One major area of discretionary powers is interpretation of DC [Development Control] rules and sanctioning building plans. Therefore, I have requested the BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] Commissioner to see whether these powers could be eliminated.”
Mr. Chavan said: “Some simplification, some transparency and some reduction in discretionary powers must be considered. On Tuesday, the Municipal Commissioner basically finalised the proposal for that. We had a meeting on the new Development Control Rules [DCR] amendments that he is suggesting. We will have another meeting and will probably take a decision to move ahead with that.” Hindu