THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If you think you are being watched at every nook and corner in the city, you are wrong. Though the City Police have set up several surveillance cameras across the city, many of them are not operational. The entire city, which was once put under the surveillance cover with the cameras installed by the cops, is now free from that monitoring.
Most of the cameras that were installed with the cooperation of Keltron are now out of service. As many as 31 surveillance cameras, both still and video cameras, are now dysfunctional. According to the police, these cameras became non-functional after the recent spell of rain in the city.
“Thirty-one cameras in the city are now not functioning. Most of them struck work after the thunder and lightning that occurred during the past few weeks. We have started the action for repairing these cameras”, said Bijoy P, Assistant Commissioner of City Control Room.
The cameras placed in the junctions with heavy traffic including Overbridge, Thampanoor, East Fort, University College Junction, Palayam, Bakery Junction and Vazhuthacaud are now not working. According to another official, the cameras placed in the 20 spots in the city are now out of order.
It was three years ago that the police took action to install cameras in places with heavy traffic. They were aimed at putting the city under the surveillance to track down the criminal activities as well as the people involved in those activities. In the first phase closed-circuit cameras with ‘still capturing’ technology were placed. Later, video cameras were also installed. These cameras became useful during ‘helmet hunts’ also.
According to City Police commissioner H Venkatesh, issues related to the annual maintenance contract (AMC) with Keltron had led to the lack of maintenance of the equipment. “The amount for the AMC of these cameras was not paid on time, owing to paucity of funds. We have forwarded the letter from Keltron officials to the officials concerned. This issue will be settled soon,” said the Commissioner.
Though the Police Department cites the recent spell of thundershowers as the reason for the non-functioning of the cameras, there has been criticism from various corners that these cameras were not functioning for the last two- three months.
In other words, a technical issue between Keltron and the Police Department is now becoming useful for lawbreakers to carry on their activities unchecked.