If you thought that CCTV cameras are installed at the toll plazas on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway to manage traffic, surveillance and safety, think again. After a shooting incident in 2011 at the KherkiDhaula toll plaza in which a toll operator was killed, it is widely believed that CCTV cameras provide the much-needed surveillance, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) says they are only meant to facilitate toll collection. The NHAI has stated this fact before the Central Information Commission (CIC) in response to an RTI query. However, the private concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), has stated that cameras are not for traffic management and safety.
The NHAI, which was the respondent in a case, had categorically submitted before the commission on July 11, 2013, that “CCTV cameras installed now by the concessionaire under the concession agreement at toll plazas at Sirhol, Kherki Dhaula and IGI Airport are for incident monitoring related to toll collection and not for traffic management, surveillance and safety.”
The highway authority further stated that there is no provision in the concession agreement for installation of CCTV cameras on the project road for traffic management, surveillance and safety. To top it all, the NHAI said CCTV footages are retained only for 13 to 14 days, after which they are destroyed. An RTI applicant had on July 6, 2012 sought information from NHAI on five points about the total number of CCTV cameras installed at toll plazas; whether they were in working condition and also sought footage of each CCTV camera for a certain specified period. The NHAI provided replies on all points except for providing CCTV footage to the applicant citing privacy issues.