262 cameras across the satellite city went blank last month due to non-payment of dues to the Internet service provider; the civic body will now get 60 days, instead of 45 days, to make the payment
Navi Mumbai got back its CCTV surveillance system last week, after the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) finally paid the Internet service provider. The provider had stopped services to the system after the municipal officials had failed to make the payments on time.
File pic for representation
Last month, services to all 262 high-definition CCTV cameras had been stopped after NMMC delayed making payments to Reliance Telecommunications. The Internet service connected all cameras to a central server, and enabled monitoring of the feed from a central control room.
The traffic police was using the system to catch traffic offenders and issue e-challans. However, when civic authorities hadn’t paid up the R45 lakh they owed the company on time, the provider pulled the plug causing the entire system to go dark. mid-day had also reported on the issue on September 27.
Shockingly, officials at the control room said the cameras go blank every three months, when the deadline for payment arrives. NMMC has habitually missed deadlines each time, and services are stopped as a result.
“It is unfortunate that such a high-tech surveillance system is shut due to untimely payments.
Due to this, we cannot monitor those flouting traffic rules and it further becomes difficult for us to keep an eye on the city roads,” said an official from the control room. After an e-challan is issued, the guilty motorists can either pay the penalty at the respective traffic officers or online on the Navi Mumbai traffic police website.
P P Kannalu, assistant commissioner of police (wireless department), said, “The system was disconnected due to issues in payments. Disconnecting the service of the CCTV system affects the functioning of the traffic department. However, the service provider has now given assurance that they would, henceforth, provide some more time to the civic body to make the payments and will not disconnect the services.”
An official from Reliance Communications, the Internet provider, said they have discussed the time limit for payment of dues with the civic body. As it is a government organisation, the official said, the company would now give them 60 days’ time to pay the service fees, instead of the earlier 45 days. Despite repeated calls and messages, G V Rao, additional city engineer of the IT department at NMMC, was unavailable for comment.