Offline PSCA cams’ e-revenue down

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The Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) is struggling to fix its payment issues with a Chinese company that had shut down 4,000 surveillance cameras owning to non-payment of Rs 226 million.
The PCSA has been ordered by the high-ups, including Punjab Inspector General Shoaib Dastgir, to settle the matter with Huawei before the start of the cricket series.
The cameras had gone offline after the authority failed to make payments to the telecom company, leaving important areas of the city, like Mall Road, Lahore High Court, Data Darbar, vulnerable to any untoward incident. The amount, though approved by the standing committee, has not been released yet. The officials are, meanwhile, trying to approach the Finance Ministry for the release of the payment.
According to an official privy to details, the closure of cameras has rendered the authority incapacitated in terms of revenue collection i.e. traffic challans and etc. “People are openly violating the traffic laws and the crime rate has also been increased in the city owing to the non-functional cameras,” he added.
He said almost 50 per cent (4,000) CCTV cameras were offline at a time when Lahore prepares to host some games of the Pakistan Super League and possibly the Bangladesh cricket team matches. Another senior official said almost half of the city’s leading roads, sensitive installations and government buildings were now out of the range/coverage of the PSCA cameras.
The security of several A category religious places of minorities and mosques in various parts of the city is also under threat due to non-functioning of the cameras.
In the past, the official said, the PSCA had played an integrated role in tracing some terrorism cases and locations of the attackers. “Presently, the PSCA is starved of funds despite approval by the chief minister to allocate Rs1.49 billion through supplementary grant”, the official said. So far, he said, the department had released Rs 200 million only out of the total supplementary grant to the PSCA which was affecting its functions.