THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The corporation has imported 15 portable cameras to watch those dumping waste. According to officials, these cameras have been used in the country only for wildlife watching. One might feel why the portable cameras each costing around Rs 1.4 lakh should be used for such a dreary purpose. However, corporation officials argue that the fixed cameras they installed earlier as well as the night guards did not produce desirable results. “Since the cameras do not have a permanent location, people who dump waste can expect it anywhere in the city. Once offenders get booked, the others will be deterred from dumping waste,” said an official.
The camera comes with in-built battery and has a GPS mechanism which allows the officials to track the cameras, should anyone attempt to steal them. Such cameras were not available in the open market. So, no one came forward when the tender was floated at first, according to officials. Earlier, corporation officials used to justify cameras installed along Killi river and Amayizhanchan canal saying that they would discourage offenders. However, no one was caught on any of these cameras.
For a long time, the cameras along Killi river were not even working. Though they were repaired, the visuals are monitored by the police at AC control room. There, police officials have to monitor 225 other cameras. They had earlier told DC that it was difficult to keep a check on dumping of waste, when they have to keep an eye on more serious crimes. As for the Amayizhanchan canal cameras, they stopped working when the cables connecting them caught fire, according to officials.
It is not clear whether it was an accident or damaged deliberately. Corporation officials said that repairing them would cost another lakh, and the money should rather be spent on other means of stopping waste dumping. While night watch was introduced, many of the repeat offenders have developed their own modus operandi to dodge the night guards. Now, officials feel that the new cameras will help deter offenders better.