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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Judge's death: glare on Dhanbad corporation for dithering on CCTV coverage

Civic body has 110 cameras across 27 locations since 2017, upgradate plans not implemented yet

Praduman Choubey, Our Bureau Dhanbad Published 29.07.21, 05:19 PM
The CCTV cameras installed at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad on Thursday

The CCTV cameras installed at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad on Thursday Gautam Dey

The death of district and sessions judge Uttam Anand while on his morning walk in Dhanbad on Wednesday has brought into sharp focus the local civic authorities' dithering over installing CCTV cameras across the district, an initiative that would have helped police better probe the incident which has now been turned into a murder investigation.

Anand's family has lodged a muder FIR with police after CCTV footage showed an autorickshaw intentionally hitting the judicial officer near Golf Ground less than 500 meter from his house at Judge Colony of Hirapur. The brief clip shows him collapsing to his left while the auto speeds away.

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“Had the CCTV camera been present at all the squares of the district, the movement of the autorickshaw before and after the incident could have been tracked leading to speedy investigation in the case. The driver could have been easily identified,” said Surendra Arora, former president of Bank More Chamber of Commerce.

In 2017, a total of 110 cameras were installed by Dhanbad Municipal Corporation during the tenure of former mayor Chandrashekhar Agarwal with the help of Jamshedpur based agency Maple PC and Peripherals Private Limited at a cost of Rs 3.28crore at 27 squares of district. These included Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras which can rotate to different angles, besides bullet cameras and automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR).

Out of 27 locations where cameras were installed as per the survey of Dhanbad police, 16 were entry and exit points of the district.

The agency which installed the cameras was also entrusted with the task of maintenance for five years.

On Novemebr 30, 2018, the DMC at its board meeting held under the chairmanship of Agarwal, passed a proposal for the installation of 100 more cameras at 33 new locations of the district. Some of these plavced were were beyond the entry points of the town for which an estimate was to be prepared. But, neither the estimate nor the the cameras were installed.

Talking to The Telegraph Online on Thursday, Hemant Kumar, manager (Technical Marketing) of Maple PC and Peripherals Private Limited said, “Though we are maintaining the existing cameras in Dhanbad at 27 sites as per the five-year agreement with DMC, we are also facing some pending payment issues.”

Jay Mahto, assistant engineer (Electrical) of DMC, said, “No tender has so far been issued for the installation of more cameras at new sites as the estimate have not been prepared.” He however refused to elaborate on the issue.

After the accident, a passerby, Pawan Pandey who witnessed judicial officer Anand lying in a pool of blood, rushed him to Sahid Nirmal Mahto Memorial Medical College and Hospital where he died during the course of treatment.

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