| Locations being selected for installing CCTV cameras under Ulubari flyover. File picture |
May 22: Vulnerable and congested areas in the city still do not have CCTV cameras though work on their installation began more than five months back.
Police began installation of the cameras on December 13 and said it would require three months to install 291 cameras in 90 locations across the city.
But so far, cameras have been installed in only three locations — at Ulubari, Ganeshguri and Dispur.
Sources in city police said they had extended the deadline and asked the company involved to complete the project by May, but work was still slow and may require some more time.
“The company has informed us that they require more time. They told us that they are facing some problems in laying the cables but we have asked them to speed up the work and complete it soon,” a police source said.
The delay in installation of cameras, however, invited criticism from residents who charged the government with neglecting the fact that the city was vulnerable to terror attacks.
“Our government talks about CCTVs when we observe the anniversary of the 2008 terror attacks in the city and seems to forget about the security of its people thereafter,” said Ranjan Baruah, a city resident.
Dispur had sanctioned the project for installation of CCTV cameras in 2009, based on recommendations of an expert committee constituted by it following the serial bomb blasts in the city and parts of the state in 2008.
The project, however, had remained grounded till chief minister Tarun Gogoi in October last year asked chief secretary Naba Kumar Das to start the process of installation of the CCTV cameras immediately to prevent militant attacks and other criminal acts in the city.
Sources in Level One, the Germany-based company which is implementing the project, said 60 per cent of work on laying the cables for networking of the cameras was complete and they would start installation of the cameras once the cable-laying work was complete.
“The networking will be completed by May 30 and we are hopeful that all the 90 locations already selected will have CCTV cameras in place by June 30,” the source said.
Asked about the reason for the delay, the company blamed the weather and the recent power cuts in the city.
“Our workers are facing problems because of the hot weather and rain. Besides, the recent power cuts for at least 10 days affected our work in networking. Before installation of the CCTV cameras, we were testing the network from our control room but we had to stop work because of the power cuts. Now, we have pressed our three teams (each comprising 10 people) into work to complete the project by June 30,” the official said.
The two CCTV cameras would be monitored from the control room set up at the office of inspector-general of police (central western range) at Ulubari.
The cameras are weather-proof and are equipped with technologies to record both day and night.