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Cameras to curb corporation theft

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By BIBHUTI BARIK
  • Published 6.07.11
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Bhubaneswar, July 5: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has decided to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at all its four stores and streamline its inventory control system.

This decision comes after 250 bags of bleaching powder were stolen from one of the corporation stores in May.

There will be four CCTV cameras near the stores and two near offices of the municipal commissioner and deputy commissioner with display monitors, so that the activities of the stores can be checked. The four corporation stores deal with many things starting from office stationery, computer peripherals, electrical equipment and even equipment such as spade and other tools.

During the first week of May, a senior corporation officer lodged a police complaint regarding missing bleaching powder bags.

“More than 2,000 items are stored on the store premises. However, there is no systematic stock, material and inventory control. We want to streamline it with a computerised system to take care of the supply and purchase accounts and inventory control,” said deputy municipal commissioner Priyadarshi Mohapatra.

“Even now, there is no systematic receipt and issue practice in the stores. But once the surveillance cameras are on the job, we have to make receipt and issue processed in the computer network. The action was planned according to the report prepared after the former slum improvement officer had submitted a report on the alleged bleaching powder bungling case. After the report had been tabled, a discussion followed and it was decided to have surveillance system in place near the stores,” said Mohapatra.

The disappearance of the 250 bags of bleaching powder from the corporation store created a stir.

After going through the report, the deputy municipal commissioner was asked by the municipal commissioner to formulate a strategy to curb any such irregularities in future.

Accordingly, the decision was taken to install CCTV cameras near the stores.

As the operations of the urban local body is undergoing a sea change with the implementation of the e-municipality scheme to computerise all operations, the proposed strategy to include a computerised store management practice will bring in more transparency to financial management of the municipal corporation.

The store in-charge, in his complaint filed with the Badagada police, also alleged that though he had the store keys with him, the consignment was never found inside the store.

Though the price of the ‘stolen’ bleaching was nearly Rs 1 lakh, many councillors alleged that the consignment had been trafficked to open market.

In open market a spurious bleaching making unit could fetch Rs 1,000 from a single bag of original bleaching powder. The spurious bleaching makers mix chalk with bleaching powder.

The storekeeper said till March, there were 1,300 bags of bleaching powder, but during a surprise stock verification in April, it was detected that 250 bags were missing.