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10 months on, Ludhiana’s Safe City Project moving at a snail’s pace

Blame it on the apathetic attitude of the state government, technical hiccups or simply red tapism, only half of the 1,442 proposed cameras are functional.

punjab Updated: Aug 31, 2017 16:30 IST
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana,Safe City Project,administrative apathy
Several of the 700 cameras said to be fully operational have developed glitches.(HT Photo)

Mooted two years ago and launched with much fanfare by former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November 2016, four months prior to the Assembly elections, the installation of CCTV cameras under the Safe City Project in Ludhiana is moving at a sluggish pace.

Blame it on the apathetic attitude of the state government, technical hiccups or simply red tapism, only half of the 1,442 proposed cameras are functional.

Sample this: Ten months after the project’s formal inauguration, only 700 of the total 1,442 cameras are operational. A total of 1,300 cameras have been installed, but 600 of them are yet to be made functional.

The Ludhiana Police were to challan traffic violators using footage from these cameras. But even that is yet to begin. Also, there is no sign of the highly touted advanced features, such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and red light violation detection in the cameras already installed.

Features, such as detection of wrong vehicle direction, loitering and crowd formation in a defined area, trip wire detection for pedestrians crossing the roads and unattended object detection, are also awaited.

The cameras were also publicised to have the feature to zoom in on vehicles taking a wrong turn or jumping the red light, alerting the control room through beep, to send challans to the violators. Let alone these special features, of the 700 cameras said to be fully operational, several have developed glitches.

Police officials said trial for these cameras with these special features was underway.

Additional deputy commissioner of police (II) Sandeep Garg said the project was nearing completion, with 95% work complete. “We are currently doing a trial tun of the cameras with special software, and these will be functional soon. Most of the city is now covered with CCTV surveillance, and these are of immense help to the police in investigating crime,” he said.

Power supply hurdles being faced

Sources said Reliance Jio that was tasked with providing and installing the cameras was facing several hurdles in their installation, including getting power supply to operate the cameras. The firm was also facing difficulties with respect to change of meters and feeders to make the cameras functional.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 16:28 IST