Gunfire, robbery, snatching and other crimes, that too even in broad day-light, seems to have become a regular affair in the Steel city of Rourkela.
The escalating crime rate in the industrial town has now raised eyebrows on the deteriorating law and order situation with many questioning if the administration has miserably failed to maintain peace in the city.
As per reports, over 79 cases of theft and robbery have been reported in the city only in the month of August.
What is more disconcerting is that in most of the cases, robbers have been able to give a slip to the police after executing the crimes before fleeing to various neighbouring states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Such a scenario has also left the police administration bewildered.
Under the Smart City Project, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been earmarked for installation at sensitive and strategic locations across the city. The governing body too has multiple times affirmed to install the CCTV cameras for which tenders also have been passed, however, everything has so far remained on pen and paper.
Apart from small theft and burglaries, the safety of women has also evolved as one of the major concerns for the residents. The locals in the city have appealed to the administration to take immediate steps to tackle the situation time and time again, however, it has been alleged that the pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
"Installing CCTVs in Rourkela city is utmost necessary. A few days earlier, a woman was murdered after burglary. Undoubtedly, police did a good job by nabbing the miscreants. But, if the CCTV would have been installed, they would have been nabbed much earlier," said Dr Puja Pati, a city-based popular dentist.
Meanwhile, senior Advocate Satya Sharma said, "CCTV installation in the city has become extremely essential as the crime rate continues to increase. Cases of snatching, robbery, theft and accidents are also rising. Installing CCTVs in the prime locations of the city will definitely reduce the criminal activities."
As per data obtained from the city authorities, a few numbers of CCTVs have been installed near Birsa Munda square, Panposh square, Basanti colony flyover. And all these cameras have been installed due to efforts of Rourkela Police.
Rourkela Superintendent of Police (SP) Mukesh Vamu informed that plans are afoot to install CCTVs at over 70 locations across the city. The government has also been proposed to install over 180 CCTVs which will help rein in the crime rate.
"Installing CCTVs will help improve surveillance in the city. We can also track traffic movement along with other important aspects. Higher the number of CCTVs, higher will be the execution of plans to bring down the crime rates," said Vamu, Rourkela SP.
Despite attempt, the Smart City CEO could not be contacted for a reaction on the matter.