Only 22 of 710 CCTV cameras in Chandigarh working 24×7: RTI

Merely 22 of the 710 CCTV cameras under the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) are fully functional in the city. According to a reply procured under the Right to Information Act, only 22 cameras had 100% up time (functional), while 18 others had 100% down time (non-functional) between November 26 and December 26, 2022. The remaining were functional only for a certain period.

As per the figures, a camera at Sector 46/47/48/ 49 junction had 93.27% down time, i.e. it remained non-functional for as many as 28 out of 30 days, while one at Sector 52 had a down time of 64.4%, i.e. it didn’t work for 19 days. Another camera at 39 (West)/38 (West)/Dadu Majra junction had 51.57% down time.

“At a time when the administration claims digital surveillance across the city under its Rs 300 crore ICCC project, why are all cameras not working round the clock? What if crime happens at a time when cameras are down?” says RTI activist RK Garg.

“The system should be perfect. The agency managing the project should be held accountable and penalised. There should be zero tolerance towards laxity,” he added. Anindita Mitra, CEO, Chandigarh Smart City Limited, says: “Down time does not mean the cameras are not working. If a camera is showing down time and data is not getting transmitted to the ICCC, we can still do it through the local processing unit where the data gets stored.” Sometimes due to a technical issue or certain miscellaneous reason such as cutting of cables or tree leaves coming in front of cameras, down time is shown, she says.

“We have to ensure 98% up time, if it goes below that, penalties are imposed on Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL),” she says. The Smart City claimed at present 953 cameras are up and only 43 are down.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had in March last year inaugurated the state-of-the-art ICCC in Sector 17. Under the project, CCTV cameras had been installed in the city to keep track of traffic violations.

The ICCC is also integrated with major citizen services such as water, electricity, sewage, solid waste management, transport, e-mail governance, parking and public-bike sharing for effective monitoring and data analysis.