TAMIL NADU

Traffic surveillance cameras removed

Needs action: Where are the traffic surveillance cameras that were until recently at important junctions in Erode?

Needs action: Where are the traffic surveillance cameras that were until recently at important junctions in Erode?   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

Staff Reporter

District administration fails to renew permission to advertise

ERODE: Until about a year ago the city had 18 traffic surveillance cameras looking down upon those violating traffic rules and also committing other offences.

The cameras would promptly video those jumping signals, entering one-ways, etc. and transmit it to the police command centre, where officials would take note of the number and issue Challan to the offender.

The cameras, 11 of which had a zoom capacity of up to a km, were at the MGR Statue Junction, P.S. Park Junction, Swastik Corner, Bus Stand entrance on Mettur Road, Bus Stand exit on Sathy Road, Manikoondu Junction, Saveetha Signal and a few other places.

The cameras and control room were set up more than a year ago by a Namakkal-based private advertisement agency at Rs. 40 lakh. The agency was to recover the cost by charging for advertisement boards on poles it had erected across the town to operate the cameras. The boards were of 4x2 inches.

In the entire project, the government departments spent not a paisa, as the entire expenditure was borne by the advertiser.

In fact, the government stood to gain from the project as it got income by charging the advertiser for the advertisements.

Today, however, there is not one camera in the city, as the advertiser has taken them away.

His reason: the district administration failed to renew permission to advertise, thus arresting the income.

Soon after the district administration’s failure to extend the permission to advertise, the advertiser wrote several letters asking for permission but none was granted. To date, the application is pending with the authorities concerned.

The advertiser cites Tamil Nadu Government Order 47 of June 26, 2003, which talks about places of advertisement, size of hoardings and rent to be collected, to buttress his argument that he did not violate any rule. The GO also says that the District Collector has the authority to grant or not the permission to put up advertisement boards.

He is also at a loss to understand why the district authorities had refused to permit advertisements.

When asked, Collector Mahesan Kasirajan says it has got to do with not only the Government Order but also several Supreme Court and High Court rulings.

“We will write to the government and also the Government Pleader at the Madras High Court asking for clarification and then grant permission, if the application merits one.”

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