The CCTV cameras, which were installed in 2013 as part of a pilot project, have been removed due to a technical snag and therefore the capital city is no longer under electronic surveillance. Nobody knows when and who will restore the electronic surveillance in the city. The installation of cameras was done to use the services to crack down on violators by monitoring the footages obtained by the CCTV surveillance system installed at city junctions.
According to the sources, CCTV cameras were installed in the city as a pilot project by a private firm. The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) had decided to go ahead with the project as per the recommendation of the traffic police to bring the city under electronic surveillance. The cost of installation and equipment was to be borne by the private firm.
The project which was initially proposed only for a period of three months was later extended with the request from the local administration. There were around eight CCTV cameras installed in the city. Last year, some of them were removed while the remaining CCTVs were removed earlier this year. There was no clarity on the maintenance aspect, informed sources adding that as cameras encountered a technical snag, they were removed by the firm
A senior Police Officer said, apart from monitoring and regulating the traffic, the CCTV surveillance was vital in terms of security aspect. Thousands of traffic violators in the city have been penalized by traffic Police after the violations was caught on the CCTV cameras.
“Parking in no parking zones, parking on zebra crossings, improper vehicle registration number, double parking were some of the violations caught on the CCTV cameras,” said a police officer. According to the sources, a data reveals, 6,759 cases of traffic violation recorded in 2014 and 3,390 such cases in 2015, while this year, the number of such cases recorded was only 38, as the remaining cameras were removed.
Police a year ago had written to the government for installation of CCTV cameras in the city. However there is no clarity on when the city will be brought under electronic surveillance once again and who will do it. Chief Minister Laxmi Kant Parsekar, last month during the assembly session had said that there is a proposal for installing 660 cameras in 205 different locations in the state.
Mayor of Panaji Surendra Furtado said that the CCP has decided to bring only the city municipal market under CCTV surveillance. Regarding installation of the CCTVs along the city roads, he said that the CCP does not intend to go ahead with it, as there are two projects – Smart City and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) – under which various projects will be undertaken.
“We do not know what type of developmental projects will be undertaken under Smart City and AMRUT. Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) is looking after these projects and we at the CCP have no idea about the projects. We are not taken into confidence. There could be wastage of money or duplication of work if we undertake CCTV surveillance along the roads and the city,” he said.