Thursday, 20 April 2017 16:30
Margao: With CCTV cameras lying dysfunctional in several towns of South Goa, the district police's electronic surveillance system has virtually collapsed. The CCTV monitoring room at the South Goa police headquarters, which was abuzz with activity until a year ago, is now a pale shadow of its former self.
Sources said that almost all the 33 CCTV cameras installed at various places in Margao town have stopped functioning and are in need of repairs, as the agency providing after-sales maintenance stopped attending to complaints upon expiry of the two-year free service period.
Although the CCTV cameras were financed under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, no provisions were made for maintenance of the system, sources disclosed.
In Curchorem, police had installed 63 CCTV cameras at 20 locations across Curchorem with much fanfare last year. However, the traffic police are yet to make arrangements to monitor footage captured by the cameras. The equipment for the CCTV surveillance system, costing over Rs 70 lakh and also funded under the MPLAD scheme, has been gathering dust at Curchorem.
When the system was up and running, the traffic cell of the Margao police had collected fines amounting to over Rs 4.27 lakh from violators caught on 14 CCTV cameras located in various places across the town in the year 2013. Violations included double-parking, parking in a manner that obstructs traffic, violating traffic signals, driving while talking on cellphones, buses taking unauthorized stops, etc. Additional CCTV cameras were subsequently installed.
Senior personnel of the traffic police, however, point out that the CCTV cameras capture images in low resolution, thereby making it difficult to identify people from the footage.
"The government should invest in more electronic surveillance infrastructure than on human intervention to prevent and detect traffic violations," a senior officer said, preferring anonymity.