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Noida's 'camera-shy' cops fail to change

With Formula 1 Grand Prix fast approaching, local police still awaits completion of long-delayed CCTV installment project in the area

It seems the recent Delhi High Court blast has not had much effect on Noida police, with CCTV cameras still not in place in most parts. Officers are waiting for access to the CCTV cameras which were to be installed at important intersections and on every entry to the state. A private firm was given a contract to install the cameras last year, which has repeatedly failed to meet deadlines to make the sub-city more secure.


Top cop's lair: The office of Noida SSP. File pic

A deal of around Rs 6.7 crore was made between Noida police and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to install cameras to keep a check on interstate entry and major intersections. According to the agreement, the project was to be finished by February 2011. But Noida police has allegedly not bothered to ask the company for explanations pertaining to the delay.

Racing against time
The Formula 1 Grand Prix, to be held on October 30, has also brought forth the problems in preparedness of Noida police. Even the cameras already installed are in bad shape. The condition of CCTV cameras put up at the sector 12-22 intersection is such that residents fear the pole, on which the cameras have been affixed, may collapse at any moment. Although around 122 CCTV cameras have been installed at 48 points across the city and a new high-tech police control room to monitor the city is in place at sector-14, the incomplete project renders everything useless.

Two cameras, each at different locations, have been installed at sector 18, sector 12-22 crossing, DM residence crossing, crossroads of sectors 8, 10, 11, 12, Atta Peer crossing, T-point of Botanical Garden Metro Station, Metro Hospital, sector 12 and Reliance-Adobe crossing etc. All entry and exit points of Noida are also to be brought under surveillance. Out of the 122 cameras installed, 48 can pan, tilt, and zoom, while the other 74 are fixed. The cameras will be a boon for the short-staffed traffic police, with barely 115 police personnel manning 92 traffic signals, T-points and crossings.

What's the deal?
Noida police had entered into an agreement with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which was funded by the state government, in the month of October 2010, with the total cost of the project pegged at Rs 6.71 crore. The installation of the cameras began on October 27, 2010, and according to the agreement, Noida police should have started using them by February 2011. A team of 30 members was to be given special training to handle the new technology and monitor the city. All the cameras and equipment also come with warranty from 27 October 2010 to 8 February 2014.

The other side
Cops say the trial is still in process and they are witnessing some technical problems due to which the entire exercise has been postponed by a month. SP (traffic) Awdesh Kumar Vijeta said, "The project has been delayed. But once the cameras start working, we will be able to keep track of the law breakers. There is some problem with the zooming in of the cameras and engineers are trying to fix it. The project will be handed over to us once it is complete and functional."

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