Mrunal Manmay Dash

There is resentment at all levels over the defunct CCTV cameras installed at multiple locations in Kendrapara town.

Out of the total 38 CCTV cameras, only one is functioning while the remaining 37 others are lying defunct, sources said.

Surprisingly, some CCTVs have also been stolen and the police officials in Kendrapara are allegedly controlling the crime and maintaining law and order with the help of just one camera.

Sources said the CCTV cameras were installed at sensitive locations in the town in October 2019. But without proper maintenance, everything has slowly come to a standstill. The project, whose cost was over Rs 15 lakh, has completely failed.

“38 CCTV cameras were installed in the city. I think only two or three cameras are working now. The camera system was installed to keep a tab on the criminal activities in the city. But now the criminals are finding it easy to flee after committing crime. Absence of CCTV cameras is also proving to be a nightmare to control the traffic in the city,” said a Councillor Ramesh Chandra Das.

A local Sudhanshu Sekhar Ray said, “There are no CCTV cameras in the city. Whatever were there, it have now defunct. As a result, criminal activities have increased. Elections are ahead and I can’t imagine free and fair elections here in Kendrapara without CCTV surveillance.”

The CCTV camera project for Kendrapara municipality was undertaken by the police administration with monetary assistance from the Kendrapara MLA's Local Area Development (LAD) fund. It had a control room at police outpost number two at the old bus stand in the city.

Asked about the defunct cameras, the Executive Officer of Kendrapara Municipality Asutosh Gourav Kar said, “We have received the complaint about defunct CCTV cameras. We have already instructed the agency which installed those cameras to repair. The cameras will be repaired soon.”

CCTV cameras were used to protect 60,000 people in Kendrapara municipality. Now that it has become obsolete, the criminals are dodging the police. On the other hand, the District Superintendent of Police said that the surveillance system will be re-arranged.

“I will send a proposal for the CCTV in the town area after visiting the spots with defunct cameras. As far as the law and order is concerned, we have sufficient vehicles with us. Patrolling should not be a problem during elections,” said Kendrapara SP Sidhharth Kataria.

While the election process has already begun, CCTV cameras are needed to keep an eye on the criminals in Kendrapara town and its suburbs. It has become necessary for the police authorities to take prompt action to make the defunct cameras functional, demanded local residents.

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