Cuttack CCTV project stays in files for 5 years

The Commissionerate Police’s proposal in 2014 to instal high-end cameras at major traffic crossroads for a wider surveillance system remains a non-starter even five years after its conception. The project aimed to keep a tab on criminal activity and streamline the chaotic traffic system.

The project envisaged installation of CCTV cameras with high-end sensors, red-light violation detection and automatic number plate recognition system. The project also included installation of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras at some places to facilitate high-resolution imaging and make long shots possible. According to sources, the project which was estimated at Rs 8 crore was to be installed at Badambadi, Ranihat, Madhupatna, OMP Square, Sikharpur, Khannagar, Chandi Chhak and Buxibazaar with control rooms at police stations in proximity.

Later, with an aim for a wider surveillance system to bring in maximum locations including all entry and exit routes to the city, the project cost was escalated to Rs 15 crore. The revised plan included installation of 147 CCTV cameras at 38 locations and setting up a central control room at DCP office for monitoring the cameras. Ironically, while the Capital City has already been equipped with over 100 CCTV cameras, not a single traffic camera has been installed in the Millennium City.

The inordinate delay in implementation of the project has invited widespread criticism for the Commissionerate Police. While criminal cases like theft, snatching and murder are increasing, the traffic flow regularly gets paralysed.

Due to lack of a wider surveillance system, the Commissionerate of Police has to face difficulties in cracking different crimes including the recent serial murders that had rocked the city. “The State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation has been assigned the responsibility of the project’s implementation. Though Rs 6 crore has already been handed over to the corporation a year back, the project has not been implemented due to delay in the tender process,” said DCP, Akhileshvar Singh.