Non-functional CCTVs pose grave security risk in City, Rly Stn

Sanjeev K. Sharma
Jammu, Mar 20: Believe it or not, in a startling revelation it has come to fore that only an insignificant number of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are keeping surveillance in the City of Temples to meet the security concern while the scenario is also not different at Railway Station Jammu where though most of the cameras are functional but image quality is very poor.
More shocking remained the fact that those at the helm are least bothered to improve the scenario though the concerned people in police and other security agencies have repeatedly demanded replacement of all the cameras across Jammu city and also at Railway Station with the one having good quality image clearly for efficient surveillance.
Highly reliable sources in the Police Department informed that a report of recent inspection of entire Jammu city identified 70 locations in the city where CCTV cameras are necessarily required while as of now there are only 41 such cameras installed for surveillance purpose in the City out of which only a few are functional. (Exact number is with the Excelsior but can’t be mentioned here due to security concern).
“The non-functional cameras have developed technical snags due to which they are not working at all and this is the case for the last many years in Jammu city,” sources informed adding: “Though the authorities concerned have twice made the project to replace the faulty cams but it didn’t materialise for one or the other reason.”
“Anyhow, a new project has been made in this regard but it is yet to be launched,” they maintained.
When asked why there was no proposal of repairing the damaged cameras, sources said they can’t be repaired as they have a life of only eight years which expired two years back.
“Also many body parts in these cameras are made of rubber which has been permanently damaged due to heat of sunlight as most of these CCTV cameras face direct sunlight owing to their installation position,” the sources further informed.
“However the CCTVs, which are installed away from the sunlight have a longer life,” they maintained.
The sources further said that the public including business organizations are also helping the law enforcement agencies by giving access to the footages of their CCTV cameras, installed at their respective places, in case the need arises for that.
“Some of such camerasrecord movements on roads and streets and many times result in a big help to the cops and the recent case of grenade attack at General Bus Stand Jammu is an example of this wherein footage of a CCTV cameras at an eatery helped cops to identify the terrorist involved in the gruesome crime who was later arrested from Nagrota while fleeing to Kashmir.”
However, sources declined to mention the location of such cameras owing to security reasons and added that the demand of 70 CCTV cameras is still being worked out.
“Anyhow there is no expectation for the installation of these security surveillance devices at an earliest even though Lok Sabha elections and Amarnath pilgrimage is round the corner,” they maintained.
“Many times decisions are taken all of a sudden and work is done immediately. Suppose in the morning authorities decide to replace all the CCTV cams in Jammu city then there is a possibility that the work gets started by the evening and is completed during night,” the sources further said referring to installation of CCTV cams in Jammu city.
However, out of 16 CCTV cameras at Railway Station Jammu, 14 are functional.
Sources in Railway Police informed, though most of the cams are functional at Railway Station Jammu yet the visibility and quality of images obtained by them is a matter of concern while at the same time two platforms are left at the mercy of God in this regard.
“All this is to be done by the Railway Department and we at our end daily raise the issue with those concerned but nothing concrete is emerging in this regard though we have also written letters to higher ups in the Indian Railways,” authoritative sources informed.
When contacted Divisional Traffic Manager (DTM) at Railway Station Jammu, Mahesh Yadav said that on his end a proposal has been forwarded to Divisional Headquarters of Northern Railways but the file has been stuck there.
“As soon as funds will be allocated from the Divisional Headquarters, work on CCTV cameras will start,” he maintained.