Glitches delay Vishakapatnam CCTV project

The ambitious CCTV project of the Police Commissionerate appears to be caught in the bureaucratic web. The project was sanctioned in 2012, but it seems quite a distance has to be covered. As per the project details, 94 traffic junctions in the city will have CCTV cameras installed by Hyderabad-based firm Stanpower on BOT (Build operate and transfer) basis for a period of seven years. A tripartite agreement between Stanpower, Police Department and GVMC has been signed, but the progress is at a snail’s pace. So far the cameras have been installed in two junctions – Satyam and Police Barracks – that too on a trial basis.

As per the agreement, Stanpower will install the cameras and will earn revenue by setting up tower hoarding boards, which will be erected about 50m from the signals. It is learnt that there is some issue over the location of the hoarding boards. If Stanpower selects one spot, it may be turned down by the Police Department or the GVMC on technical grounds. This is one of the main reasons for delay of the project, says a senior officer from the Police Department. Moreover, frequent road engineering by the department is also believed to be upsetting the board location.

The project is progressing well, but cyclone Hudhud that devastated the city last October, had brought down 90 per cent of the traffic signal poles. This is another reason cited by the authorities concerned for the delay of the project.

The project is said to be a smart project, as it will not only help the police monitor the traffic but also serve as a third surveillance eye through the length and breadth of the city. The 94 junctions will cover the length of the National Highway from Mardhurwada to Lankelapalem and all traffic junctions in the city. Two cameras — one with a fixed zoom and the other a PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera, will be mounted at each junction, according to Mahendra Patrudu, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP), traffic.

All the 94 junctions will be monitored from a central control and command centre which will be located at the Police Commissionerate. The construction of the new Commissioner’s building, which is half way through, has been halted for various reasons, and this is delaying the setting up of the command and control centre.