Inquiry into procurement process of CCTV cameras, traffic lights Inquiry period likely to be extended by another month

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IMPHAL, Apr 16 : The two committees constituted to investigate into the procurement of CCTV cameras and traffic signal lights installed at Imphal city are likely to be given one additional month to submit their inquiry reports.

Earlier the two inquiry committees headed by Additional DGP Pramod Asthane as chairman were instructed by the State Government to submit their reports within 15 days.
The other members of the committees are RD&PR Secretary Sumant Singh and IGP Clay Khongsai.

The two committees have so far recorded statements of many officers and firms, informed a source. However, the same source refused to divulge if there is any key figure among the people whose statements have been/would be recorded by the committees.
Notably, the stipulated period given by the Government to complete the enquiry processes expired yesterday.

The State Government may take a decision on the issue after Chief Minister N Biren who is currently outside the State returns to Imphal.

For procurement and installation of CCTV cameras, the Government expended Rs 8,01,54,775 while it spent Rs 1,93,75,000 on traffic signal lights.

Earlier on March 31, the State Government decided to inquire the process of procurement and commissioning of CCTV cameras to be installed at the Raj Bhavan, Chief Minister’s bungalow and bazar areas as the same have not been functional since their installation in 2009-10 and 2010-2011.

Following the setting up of the inquiry committee, it held its first meeting on April 2.
Back in 2014, The Sangai Express had published an exclusive story detailing how the CCTV cameras had remained defunct from the day they were installed at the key areas of Imphal.
In 2011 that Manipur Police Department ordered 100 CCTV cameras and other necessary components from Bangalore based Meltronics Systemtech Pvt Ltd. Accordingly the firm supplied and installed the CCTV cameras.

The contract signed between Manipur Police Department and the Bangalore based firm has a provision of making a control room (of the CCTV cameras) at the office of Imphal West SP operational.

However, a clause on Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) clause was conspicuously missing in the contract.

Under the Plan of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, the State Home Department sanctioned a sum of Rs 8,01,54,775 for the CCTV cameras, but due to alleged irregularities in the procurement and installation of the same, they have been remaining defunct since then.
The inquiry committee is to probe the process of procurement and installation and commissioning of the CCTV cameras to ascertain the facts and find the officers responsible for the lapses, if any, said an order issued by Additional Chief Secretary Dr Suresh Babu earlier.

As the maintenance clause was missing, the firm did not repair when any of the CCTV cameras broke down. With the cameras not functional, many of their components were stolen.

There is no record or document in Police Department regarding handing over of the project after the CCTV cameras were installed by the Bangalore based firm.
The firm installed 50 CCTV cameras at Raj Bhavan, 27 in Chief Minister’s bungalow and the remaining cameras at different parts of Imphal city.

Of the CCTV cameras installed at Raj Bhavan, 11 are non-functional while three in the CM’s bungalow are out of order and most of the cameras installed at different parts of the city are defunct.

The CCTV cameras have the facility to transmit images and video footage to the control boxes directly. But many of the control boxes have been converted into dust-bins as the cameras are not working.
On being enquired as why the costly CCTV cameras are not working, Police Department had blamed the then erratic power supply.

Meanwhile, Home Department sent a written instruction to Police Headquarters to take up necessary measures in order to make the CCTV cameras functional in addition to conducting an inquiry.

Acting on the Home Department’s instruction, Police Headquarters constituted a committee.
However, it could not be confirmed whether the Police Headquarters conducted any feasibility survey before the CCTV cameras were installed.

Source: The Sangai Express

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