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Twin tools to buffer road accidents

- Glow signboards create awareness, CCTV cams to work from tomorrow

East Singhbhum district police are leaving no stone unturned to check the rising number of accidents on Jamshedpur’s thoroughfares.

The pillars, on which closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been mounted to rein in speedsters, are now sporting glow signboards to generate traffic awareness.

The 20-feet-high pillars, which have been erected at 16 strategic locations in Sakchi, are sporting the 12ftx6ft signboards that display traffic awareness messages and emergency police helpline 100. The CCTV cameras, the footage of which will be monitored to crack down on traffic violators, will become functional from Friday.

Safety messages on the glow signboards include the likes of ‘obey traffic rules’, ‘use helmets’, ‘don’t use mobile phones while driving’, ‘fasten seatbelt while driving’ and ‘please park vehicles in parking areas only’.

City SP Karthik S. said the move was aimed to sensitise steel city residents. “Jamshedpur leads the state in terms of violation of traffic rules. We have decided to display messages on glow signboards with a hope that people will follow rules after reading them. Besides, we have also displayed our emergency number 100 that is operational round the clock,” he said.

The pillars have come up on Straight Mile Road, three sides of Sakchi roundabout, near Basant Talkies on Sakchi-Kalimati Road and on Sakchi Highway (near Bengal Club). CCTV cameras have also been set up near roundabouts near Old Court and Shitla Mandir.

Denmark firm El Dorado has supplied the cameras and city-based advertisement agency Oasis Addcom Services has installed them. The surveillance gadgets have a night vision range of nearly 300 metres and daytime coverage of 500 metres.

Each pillar also has a UPS that can provide 12 hours of backup in case of power cuts. A meter installed by Jusco records power consumed by each camera.

The city SP said after assessing the performance of the surveillance gadgets at Sakchi, they would consider installing them in other areas.

“In the second phase, we plan to bring Bistupur-Jugsalai Road and Tatanagar Station roundabout under CCTV surveillance. The third phase will see installation of similar cameras on Kalimati Road and Tinplate roundabout,” said the senior officer, adding that they planned to put up as many as 180 CCTV cameras over three phases.

He added that the footage from the cameras would be monitored at a special cell at the control room near Sakchi police station.

Anupam Das, a bank employee who drives a four-wheeler from his Sitaramdera home to reach his Sakchi workplace, hailed the move to install CCTVs and glow signboards.

“This idea of the district police to bring roads under CCTV surveillance and inform commuters about basic traffic rules is indeed commendable. One does not know how much impact it will have, but at least police have made it clear that they are committed to curbing road mishaps and nailing traffic violators,” Das said.

Violation of traffic rules on steel city roads has refused to show a downward trend despite regular crackdowns and checking drives.

From 2008 to 2013, as many as 900 people have died in traffic mishaps on Jamshedpur roads. In 2012 alone, the killer roads claimed 189 lives. The death count though came down to 140 in 2013.