30 CCTV batteries stolen from Eastern Peripheral Expressway in UP’s GB Nagar
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that unidentified thieves have made away with over 30 batteries used to operate the CCTV cameras on several stretches of the 135km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) in Gautam Budh Nagar since mid-August.
The officials that they conveyed the issue to senior officers and are also assessing the damage caused by thieves across Uttar Pradesh.
The Ghaziabad police said that NHAI officials on Monday approached them regarding this issue. “They have told us about the thefts, and we will register an FIR,” said Iraj Raja, superintendent of police (rural).
The EPE, which became operational in May 2018, has been witnessing frequent thefts--the thieves usually escape with iron fencing, artifacts, and solar panels, among other things, the authorities said.
NHAI officials said that more thefts have come to light recently.“Nearly 30 batteries, covered with iron cages, were stolen during the past few weeks. These issues are prevalent in both Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Our teams are trying to fix the issue and we have decided that the CCTV cameras (with night vision and 360 degrees rotation) will also cover the battery system setups installed at different locations... Even electricity cables have been taken away. There are certain areas affected by these issues and we have conveyed them to the Meerut divisional commissioner, Surendra Singh,” said Mudit Garg, project director, NHAI.
Officials said they do not have footage prior to the battery thefts as the CCTV cameras are located at some distance from each other.
The expressway witnesses movement of 70,000 passenger car units every day. NHAI officials, familiar with the development, said that five or six illegal exits on the road were detected near Gautam Budh Nagar’s Dadri and Ghaziabad’s Dasna.
“We have fixed/covered the illegal exits in the area. The thieves cut open metal beams on the expressway to make their way around the expressway,” Garg added.
Singh said, “We will discuss these issues in the upcoming meeting with NHAI officials and get them sorted out. We hold such meetings twice every month. I have also directed the district officials to rein in traffic violators and stop the entry of unauthorised vehicles on the expressways.”
“... The issue of illegal exits is due to the local population. We are keeping a check on certain activities and will get these resolved at the earliest,” said Raja.
Traffic police officials of Gautam Budh Nagar said, “Making short-cuts, or driving on the wrong side of the roads can become a nuisance in certain rural belts. Sometimes, local toll booth operators are also involved. We do not have an extensive problem on the EPE, but it does happen once in a while. We keep an eye on the situation and our ground teams in the area immediately fine such vehicles,” said Ganesh Saha, deputy commissioner of police, traffic.