BMC gets new disaster control room, linked to 5000 CCTVs for monitoring emergency situations

BMC gets new disaster control room, linked to 5000 CCTVs for monitoring emergency situations 1
BMC’s new disaster control room. Picture Courtesy: Ranjeet Singh

In a bid to effectively monitor and address emergency situations within Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday upgraded its disaster control room by installing a video wall and linking it with the city’s existing CCTV network.

Built at a cost of Rs 7 crore, the new disaster control room was inaugurated earlier today by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the presence of Uddhav Thackeray, Vinod Tawde and Subhash Desai among others at the BMC headquarters.

The control room will employ over 70 trained personnel, who will monitor the live feeds from the existing 5,000 CCTV cameras installed across the city. The staff will follow the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) during emergency situations.

“We could not follow SOP during 26/11 (terror) attack as the SOP were not devised then. But now we have this system in place and SOP would be activated in case of emergency,” Fadnavis said while inaugurating the control room.

Fadnavis also highlighted that one of the top priorities of the new room would be to improve response time.

“Being an international city, Mumbai needed a comprehensive plan to tackle any eventuality or emergency. So BMC devised this facility in such a way that it could deal emergency very effectively by improving its response time and ability to mitigate the damage done,” he added.

The room, which was earlier housed in the basement of the BMC headquarter building, has now been shifted to a 8,000 sq.ft area on second floor of the same building.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray further highlighted the various other issues taken up by the civic body

“It’s hard to believe that BMC can do such an excellent job and adopt high-tech tools to keep its people safe, besides it has taken multi-pronged steps to improve people’s life especially in the field of health and education.”

BMC school children will be educated on what needs to be done if there is a disaster around them, he added.

According to one source, the video wall was utilized by civic officials on a trial basis during the Oshiwara fire incident last week to divert traffic.

“Since the surveillance system through cameras is placed in GPS mode, therefore, disaster rooms utility increases multiple times to get real-time updates beside giving guidance to the fire engines if they are on the way on busy city roads to douse blaze,” said municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta.

A litigation management system for managing the barrage of court cases coming the BMC’s way was also inaugurated along with the disaster management room.

“BMC is facing or fighting almost 70,000 cases in 11 different courts averaging 1500 cases on a daily basis and we have found that we do not have sufficient control over these cases. This is why a Litigation Management System was underway to cope up this menace of court cases,” he added.

Since its launch in 1999, the BMC has monitored every emergency situation arising in the city from the emergency disaster control room.

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