Mumbai surveillance project finally awarded
Lateness is not an uncommon issue in India. In fact, its citizens often joke that the abbreviation for the local time zone, IST, should stand for “Indian Stretchable Time”. It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that it has taken a long time for the Mumbai safe city project to be awarded. The project, which involves installing a network of around 6,000 cameras and associated infrastructure in the city, was originally proposed following a devastating terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008. Last week, a consortium led by Allied Digital, backed by Reliance Industries, and supported by such suppliers as IBM and Cisco, was finally awarded the project.
It is likely to be just one of many large surveillance projects in the country. India has 28 states, most of them with a capital city and a number of other large cities, and video surveillance is being planned for many of them. There is already talk of an even larger project in Delhi for instance.
How long will it take for city surveillance projects in these other cities to be awarded? Well, Indian Stretchable Time makes this difficult to predict and much will be determined from experience learned from the Mumbai project. Nevertheless, a precedent has now been set and there is a template to follow for this kind of project: Requirements have been identified, specifications have been written, products and suppliers have been evaluated. Other safe city projects in India will be implemented quicker.