Churchgate, Metro Subways Next On List

In a New Year gift to students, the BMC has installed 24 CCTV cameras and deployed security guards inside the CST subway after complaints of eve-teasing from several students.

The principal of St Xavier's College, Agnello Menezes, recently wrote to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta about the harassment girl students regularly faced while passing through the CST subway on their way to or from the college. The BMC discussed the issue with the police and drew up a plan to install the cameras to make the subway safe for students.After a month of discussion; the BMC finally installed 24 cameras and three LCD screens in the subway to keep an eye on all activities. The CCTV cameras will help identify perverts and they can be penalised by the police. “The cameras have recording facility and are linked to the BMC control room, “said assistant municipal commissioner Kiran Dighavkar.

It has also deployed two security guards in the CST subway who have been provided walkie-talkies, who can immediately relay any harassment complaints to the control room. Officials in the room can then locate the culprit based on his description, by going through the recordings and simultaneously alert the police. An official stated it will also help deal with illegal hawkers. The civic authority has promised to install CCTVs in the Churchgate and Metro subways too.

Menezes welcomed the move. “It is a very good thing that CCTVs have been set up in the CST subway, but the Metro subway needs them urgently too. The CST subway has a lot more footfall compared to the one at Metro. Apart from the safety of girl students, there have also been instances of people misleading blind students and robbing them. The CCTVs, if monitored properly, will change things for the better, “he said.

College students too said increasing the security in the subway was the need of the hour. “A lot of students have stopped taking the subway because early in the morning and late in the evening, it is very deserted and only full of anti-social elements. It felt very unsafe to walk alone or even in groups. We prefer to cross the road, “said Karina Khanna, an SYJC student.