Gzb civic body files FIRs against firm looking after signals after 48 lights stop working - Hindustan Times

Gzb civic body files FIRs against firm looking after signals after 48 lights stop working

By, Ghaziabad
Apr 12, 2024 10:59 PM IST

FIRs filed against a private agency for theft of traffic controller equipment, leaving 48 signals dysfunctional in Ghaziabad. Municipality to make signals functional at own expense.

Officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation got two FIRs, of theft and other charges, registered against the officials of a private agency entrusted with the installation and maintenance of 58 traffic signals across the city, after they allegedly made off with traffic controller equipment, leaving 48 of 58 signals on the blink since last Sunday.

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The police said the first FIR was registered on April 8 against Harish Sharma, director of the firm Shiv Shakti Dream Homes Private Limited, and its officials Gunjan Sharma, Kapil Mohan Gupta and Tarun Sharma under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 341 (wrongful restraint), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 186 (voluntarily obstructing any public servant) and provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, at the Sihani Gate police station.

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The second FIR was registered on April 10 against the same persons with an additional charge, under IPC section 379 (theft), police said.

Municipal commissioner Vikramaditya Malik said, “Officials of the company stole the traffic controller equipment and the signals went dysfunctional last Sunday. This was done after the first FIR was lodged on April 8 and the firm’s contract was not renewed.Thirty-two signals will be made functional by Friday night at our own expense. The missing traffic controller equipment were seized from the firm’s office by the police and these will be released from the court and used to make all signals functional.”

“We conducted a search at the firm’s office and seized 15 traffic signal controller units, 32 SMPS power supply units, three motherboard of controller units, eight cabinets of controller units and keys of 58 traffic signals. The investigation is on in the case,” said Ravi Kumar Singh, assistant commissioner of police (City 2).

According to municipal officials, the firm entered into a contract with the civic body for installation of signals in May 2017. In 2023, a committee of the municipal corporation denied a renewal of the firm’s contract. In this context, a petition is pending before the Supreme Court, said civic officials.

Firm director Harish Sharma said, “We had no hand in making signals dysfunctional. There has been no theft of equipment and these allegations are false and motivated to build a case against us. The equipment which was recovered from our office were newly procured ones. By making a false seizure claim, police are trying to build a case against us and deny us a renewal of our contract.”

Sharma said his firm was given advertising rights (unipoles at 58 intersections) against installation of 58 traffic signals. He said after the civic body refused to renew the contract, its staff cut off all unipoles last Saturday night after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow ended.

Over the past five days after the lights went on the blink, Ghaziabad traffic police have been manually regulating traffic at major intersections from 7am to 10pm daily and will continue to do so till all signals are made functional, said senior traffic police officers.

“We are expecting all signals to be made operational by Sunday,” Malik said.

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    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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