ISLAMABAD: In less than two years, cameras installed under the multibillion rupees Safe City Project in the capital have started developing faults with over 500 of them currently not working properly.

A total of 1,840 cameras were installed all over the capital under the project which was inaugurated in 2016.

The aim of the project was to put the capital under surveillance and make it free of crime, sectarian and terror activities.

But about 542 cameras have now become useless due to different reasons, officials told Dawn.

1,840 cameras were installed in the capital in 2016

There are also cameras that are not being handled by operators from the control room. These have cameras stopped moving and remain standstill at one direction.

Details of the cameras that have developed faults are being collected, the officials stated.

Majority of the cameras have stopped working due to cable cut. As many as 236 cameras installed at Tarnol, highways, including Kashmir Highway and Bhara Kahu, were out of order after their cables were cut during construction work.

“It is beyond our limits and expertise to repair the cables and make them operational,” said one official, adding the company that installed the cameras was not bound to repair the cameras.

“A fresh tender will be floated to invite companies for such an extensive repair work,” he added.

Similarly, bushes and branches have grown around 166 cameras at different locations. As a result, the views these cameras caught were not clear.

Besides, 50 cameras were out of order due to unknown reasons while technical and battery issues have rendered 23 and 18 cameras dysfunctional, respectively.

Furthermore, 23 cameras were not working due to issues related to hardware, power and connectivity while 26 cameras were dismantled.

Inspector General of Police Dr Sultan Azam Temuri confirmed to Dawn that a large number of cameras were either out of order or not working properly.

He said a request had been sent to Nadra to float a tender for the repair work.

Besides, he added, directives were also issued to all the police stations to arrange gardeners and clear bushes and branches that have blocked the view of cameras in their jurisdictions. The officials concerned of the Safe City Project have also been directed to approach the company concerned and inform them about the faults in the cameras.

The IGP said sub-control rooms of the Safe City Project had also been established in seven police stations. Each control room is provided with six screens to monitor activities in their limits.

The officials monitor traffic violations and send details to the traffic police which impose fine on the violators.

Dr Temuri said the police also kept an eye on suspicious activities and elements and inform patrolling teams to check them.

In case of any criminal activity, the police examine the spot through the cameras, pick suspects and trace their movements.

He said such information was passed on to patrolling teams along with the station house officer and duty officer of the police station concerned for immediate action.

He said vehicles with 15 patterns or types of registration plates were plying in the capital but only three of them were recognised or read by the Safe City Project’s software.

Directives have been issued for the addition of all types of registration in the software of the project, the IGP added.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2018