Blacklist L&T for blocking CCTV access, Civic chief tells govt

Nagpur Municipal Corporation chief Radhakrishnan B and commissioner of police Amitesh Kumar have sought strict action against L&T Ltd for stopping access to CCTV surveillance in the city for 46 hours between June 29 and July 1. The civic chief wants the company “blacklisted”.

Terming the action “irresponsible and erratic amounting to stealing of government’s property and affecting the monitoring of crime, traffic and handling the pandemic situation”, Radhakrishnan has sought “legal and penal action” against the company by the state government. The connection was restored after high court intervention.

“First, the company breached the contract by not transferring ownership to the purchaser. Then, it restricted access to services without having any right. L&T used unethical and illegal tactics to make the government listen to their demand by holding the city of Nagpur to ransom. The company’s act is not such that it could be ignored,” wrote Radhakrishnan on July 1.

Kumar, in his letter to Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), mentioned about the “hindrance in detecting crime of robbery and stabbing, purse snatching of an old lady which occurred in the city”. “It became overall difficult to maintain law and order in the city and caused serious implications on monitoring crime. Traffic police were not able to generate e-challans on traffic violators and also caused a chaotic situation in the city,” Kumar added.

Radhakrishnan further said that the variable message display boards across the city did not function properly. “It affected the ongoing advertisement traffic flow and revenue. Software credentials of the police department and the NSSCDCL users were disabled, which affected the day to day work. All the smart strip component services were affected,” he said. Stating that the contractor’s “act cannot be justified”, the civic chief said, “It is worth noting that there had indeed been a substantial payment made to L&T Ltd by Maha IT for providing the services. Though part payment may be due, at no stretch of imagination the services contracted to be provided gains the right of ownership.”

An L&T Construction spokesperson said, “We would like to refrain from commenting on the issue as it is sub judice.” The state had approved the Safe and Smart City Project in 2016. Maha IT was appointed as nodal agency and the NMC and police department were assigned as user agencies. On September 27, 2016, Maha IT had entered into a contract with L&T Ltd for execution of the project followed by operation and maintenance (O&M) for five years. The period of O&M was started from February 2019.