2 years on, ‘Smart’ Kakinada sans CCTVs

Command & communication centre dysfunctional for 2.5 years due to pending bills of Rs 7 crore
Express Illustration
Express Illustration

KAKINADA: Not one or two days, but for the last two and half years, hundreds of cameras, part of the Kakinada Smart City Command and Communication Centre have been dysfunctional. Reason —pending bills to the tune of Rs 7 crore— to the company maintaining the CCTV cameras and controls of the command centre. Sterlite company, which has a five-year contract, has dropped due to pending bills.

Out of the 470 CCTV cameras installed in the Kakinada smart city in 2017, there are 350 cameras arranged and maintained by the Kakinada Smart City Corporation (KSCC), which directly works under Kakinada Municipal Corporation. District police department has also set up 120 cameras at the key centers in the city. As many as 20 cameras can pan, tilt and zoom 360 degrees, while the rest of the 100 cameras are fixed.

For the past two and half years, 350 CCTV cameras arranged by KSCC have not been operational and even the 100 CCTV cameras of the police department have been shut for last one year.This has effectively put the Kakinada police at a disadvantage as they have no scope to keep vigil remotely over the city or collect video evidence in any case of crime. Unfortunately, all the cameras are connected to the command control room, which is located on the premises of Victoria Water Work.

In fact, it was supposed to be used as a data center, disaster recovery center for network operation center, LoRa network, internet wifi network, CCTV surveillance system, smart street lighting system, smart poles, automatic vehicles location system, automatic number plate recognition, red light violation detector, facial recognition system, environment sensors with public display units, citizen help desk, IP based public address system, emergency call box, variable messaging display and smart parking and other important components in the part of smart city works.  

Ever since the command centre has been non-operational, the very ‘smart’ functioning of Kakianda city has come to a pause. When KMC chief K Ramesh was contacted by TNIE, he said that  the civic body has been looking for an alternative company to resume the services.

Commissioner assures of speedy maintenance

Speaking to TNIE, KMC Commissioner K Ramesh said that the maintenance agency had dropped owing to pending bills. Asked any measures are being taken to rectify the situation, he said they are looking for alternative company to resume the services. However, given the pending bills, the question is  when will it happen.

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