KOCHI: The Motor Vehicle Department’s (MVD) move to bring the National Highway (NH) Stretch between Vadakkanchery to Walayar under camera surveillance failed to take off as the department is yet to take the call on setting up a control room for the new cameras. Though the department had completed the installation of 37 cameras along the stretch nearly six months ago, it is a delay in this regard which has held up the plan.
According to the department, linking the new cameras with the existing control room at Kakkanad is not a viable option as the control room doesn’t have the facility to store up the data generated by the new cameras.
The MVD implemented the Rs 7.4 crore project in association with Keltron. After it becomes functional, a major stretch of the NH in the state will be under the camera surveillance. The department has already installed 202 cameras along the Cherthala-Manjeswaram stretch.
“It was after spending huge amount the department started installing the cameras on the stretch but even after installing it six months ago, the department has taken no action in this regard. Though they planned to set up a control room at Kozhikode, no concrete decision has been taken so far. Since each camera costs over Rs 18 lakh, the department has wasted a huge amount of money,” said an MVD officer on condition of anonymity.
According to him, the department remains clueless about the manpower needed to man the proposed control room at Kozhikode. “Until now, the department has not initiated talks with Keltron to appoint them as facilitator. If the department wants to appoint staffers, it has to train the people but no positive steps have been taken so far,” said the officer.
The department is also conducting a trial using the ‘camera to camera speed detection system’, on the Walayar-Vadakkancherry stretch. The new system is designed to provide data with the average speed /km, travelled method. That is, the actual time required to cover the distance between cameras and the time taken by the vehicle to cover the distance will be compared to determine the actual speed of the vehicle.
However, Rajeev Puthalath, Joint Transport Commissioner dismissed the criticism. “We are striving hard to complete the project within a month. There was some confusion regarding the control room but it got resolved. The Transport Commissioner held talks with the Keltron authorities last month regarding this. We have also decided to appoint Keltron as facility manager for the project,” he said.