The Telegraph
Thursday , January 24 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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March deadline for CCTV project

Jan. 23: City police have asked Level One, a Germany-based company installing CCTV cameras here, to speed up work and complete the project by March in light of the fact that the company has already missed several deadlines.

Sources today said CCTV cameras had already been installed in at least 60 places and the company had been asked to install the rest by March.

The city will have 290 CCTVs at 91 locations as part of the Assam police integrated surveillance system project. Cameras have been installed at the important traffic intersections at Ulubari, Ganeshguri, Fancy Bazar and others and a control room has been set up at Ulubari.

Installation of the cameras started in December 2011, three years after the project’s announcement, but the company has missed at least five deadlines citing traffic congestion, manpower shortage and inclement weather.

Senior superintendent of police (city) Anand Prakash Tiwari had announced in December that the project would be completed by January but the deadline was missed again.

Police sources today said the company had been asked to speed up the installation process and ensure that it did not miss the next deadline. “In our last meeting with the company, we asked them to speed up the work. Cables have been laid and the cameras have been installed in at least 60 places. But we asked them not to miss the March deadline as it is already too late,” a source said.

Yesterday, cameras were installed at Bamunimaidam too. “We have asked them to halt installation of the cameras at six places on the outskirts like North Guwahati, Khetri and Sonapur and complete the installation inside the city first. Then they can resume work on the outskirts,” the source said.

On the confusion whether lack of streetlights at many places would affect functioning of the cameras, a police source said the cameras could record at night too, as these possessed night-vision facilities.

The delay in installation of cameras however, invited criticism from residents who charged the government of neglecting the vulnerability of the city to terror attacks. “Our government talks about CCTVs when we observe the anniversary of the 2008 terror attack in the city and seems to forget about the security of its people thereafter,” said Ranjan Baruah, a resident.

Dispur 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, remained grounded till chief minister Tarun Gogoi asked chief secretary Naba Kumar Das in October 2011 to immediately start the process of installation in order to prevent militant attacks and other criminal acts in the city.