THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The decision to install close circuit television cameras as part of its effort to prevent dumping of garbage in public places has turned into a burden for the cash strapped City Corporation.
Rs 53 lakhs was spent to install CCTVs along the Amayizhanchan canal stretching from Bakery Jn to Upplamoodu and now the civic body has disowned the cameras by refusing to pay the hefty power bills.
A top official of the civic body said that none of the CCTV units were functional and it was impossible for the civic body to pay the power bills as the units were not serving the purpose.
“The project was a total failure and the sole aim was to record images of the violators that could be archived and viewed on a LED HDTV monitor. But a majority of the units became defunct in no time. Even during daytime the officials were unable to recognise the face of offenders. Despite repeated complaints, Keltron has refused to replace the units,” said the official.
The official said that power bills were to the tune of Rs 14,800 per month for 37 CCTVs. The civic body has written a complaint to Keltron several months back to replace the low quality CCTVs with high performing units with night vision, longer range and high resolution to resolve the issue.
But according to Keltron authorities, the CCTVs were just a deterrent and once the people knew that they were under surveillance they would stop dumping waste.
CCTVs installed along Killiyar river also remain useless
As part of Karamana River Scientific Management Project, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) installed some 17 high-resolution CCTVs along Killiyar – Thiruvallam River two months back.
Around Rs 60 lakh was spent on installing the surveillance cameras aimed at pollution abatement of the Karamana River basin. The decision followed the indiscriminate dumping of slaughter, poultry and hotel waste on the river basin.
However, till day, the city corporation hasn’t booked even a single violator using its footage. A top official of the civic body said they were unable to access the footage monitored from the police control room.
“We are the authority responsible to book violators and the KSCSTE linked the surveillance to the police control room. The police is not taking any action or handing over the footage to us to take action,” said a top official.
However, officials with the project said the civic body didn’t have the infrastructure to set up a surveillance cell.
“The officials are not interested in monitoring CCTVs and once the new council comes to power, steps would be taken to set up a surveillance cell,” said the official....