Vasco police and Railway police are keeping a strict vigil over the port town to avoid any sort of security lapses following the recent serial blasts in Sri Lanka on this Easter. Railway police are doing random checks by metal detectors, luggage checks etc. But sadly in most of the crowded places of Vasco CCTVs aren’t installed or the ones which are installed are not functional at all since many days.
Recently, after the bomb blast in Sri Lanka, Goa police have taken cognizance of the issues and have intensified the security at the beaches and instructions were also given to locals, hotels and other stakeholders involved in tourism. But sadly the Vasco Municipal Council doesn’t seem to be serious about the security of their citizens. The CCTV cameras, which were installed on few prime locations, junctions of the town are proving to be an eyewash for the people but the fact is that these CCTV cameras are not being refurbished, or made functional since their installation.
After taking a round in the vegetable market, fish market of Vasco town there are absolutely no CCTV cameras installed. The CCTVs, which are installed from MPLAD funds, have been neglected by the authorities.
Speaking to this daily, Vasco Traffic PI Suraj Samant said “the CCTVs at various prime spots are necessary, it helps in detecting, traffic violations, crimes and detection of suspicious activities. But the CCTV cameras from the town are non functional as per my knowledge," he said.
When contacted, Vasco PI Nilesh Rane stated that he has intensified police patrolling in Bogmalo and other beach areas in the jurisdiction of Vasco Police station. “We have started placing round-the-clock police pickets at important religious places such as Safi Masjid, Damodar temple, St Andrew's church, etc. Sensitisation related to the security aspect has been done in beach resorts, hotels and the people in beach areas,” he added. Rane also said that as it is the tourist season and summer vacations are on, crowds come to the beaches. “So we are keeping a check on suspicious activities if any. Persons carrying big bags, etc, are being checked. People are also urged to be alert and inform about any suspicious activities immediately to police," he said.
When asked about the non-functional CCTV cameras, PI Rane said that soon “they will be having an audit of the CCTVs installed by government bodies and also by private establishments all over the town. We will see number of cams installed and how many are functional and non-functional," he added.
Efforts made to contact Chairperson Kritesh Naik Gaunkar were not successful. Upon inquiry with Chief officer of MMC Agnelo Fernandes he agreed that “CCTVs aren’t functional and revealed that he had sent a proposal three months ago to Directorate of Municipal Council for the additional funds to purchase new CCTVs and the repairs of existing CCTVs but till date no reply from their side has come to us," the CO added.
Meanwhile the situation at Vasco railway station is different. Sources said that there is day night police security at the station and people are checked randomly. Bag checking is being done, scanners are working, the station is under CCTV surveillance all the time. Police personnel are deployed at various points. During rush hours such as Amaravati and Pune train timing we keep close look on the passengers and do thorough checking of the luggage,” sources added.