It is a sad state of affairs that the much-publicized Intelligent Traffic Management and Surveillance System (ITMSS) installed across Temple City with a lot of fanfare has proven to be a damp squib. Murmuring voices from many concerned stakeholders, including some officials, have revealed that a significant number of high-end towers with CCTV cameras installed in numerous crossings and intersections have either been switched off or have gone defunct. In some cases the tower holding the defunct camera has been fully covered by the creepers turning it into a cypress tree. This renders the entire system a futile exercise, wasting public funds. No doubt, the cameras installed in some of the vital crossings are still in working mode and the Challans are being issued accompanying pictures captured during traffic violations but the output is meagre if one goes by what was promised.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on March 13, this year, inaugurated Integrated Command & Control Centre (ICCC) as a nerve centre of civic operations and traffic management but nothing substantial has come to fore as things are almost the same like they were before the inception of the aforesaid project and set-up. Initiated in November 2022, the project was planned to have a chain of 600 cameras, mostly Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) type, watching traffic movement in the city. The expectations of the people out of this endeavour of the government were quite high but what has been delivered is insignificant because the traffic cops were working more efficiently without these CCTV cameras as one can find haphazard movement of vehicles in almost all the intersections of the city with people mercilessly ignoring the so-called smart cameras of the Smart City as one can typically observe more than one violation every time the signal goes red. The reason behind this arbitrariness of commuters could be the information about defunct CCTV cameras on most of the crossings in the city. This is not a small thing because there is need to ponder over the fact that the costly set-up installed for managing traffic and also taking care of law and order through these high end gadgets having provision to provide eagle's eye view at important places has been switched off at places or kept in abeyance is hinting about a big scam.
Earlier also, when the popular government installed traffic lights after months of survey to know about the need and timing of lighting signals, lights were switched off at many crossings soon after installation because the chaos was more with lights as compared to the time when the lights were kept off. This also exposed a scam kind of thing because giving nod to install traffic lights at such points where traffic was expected to worsen with signals was something questionable but no one cared. There is still time to rectify things and probe why the cameras for surveillance have been allowed to go into slumber allowing traffic defaulters to rule the roost?