Traffic project computer thieves yet to be found

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:58, Jan 26,2021


The police are yet to arrest the perpetrators involved in the theft of a server computer of a project undertaken to install intelligent transportation systems at four major road crossings in Dhaka even a year after the incident.

Earlier, a departmental probe report concluded that some opportunist people stole the computer after the Japanese technical team members left the country without properly informing the project office of their departure.

The Dhaka Integrated Traffic Management Project, initiated six years ago under the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority, has already got four extensions with the cost of the project increasing twice, but it is yet to take off.

The project, launched in July 2015 under a technical coordination agreement between the government of Bangladesh and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is aimed at installing intelligent transportation systems at Dhaka’s four road crossings — Paltan, Phulbari, Mohakhali and Gulshan-1.

Intelligent transportation systems — consisting of ultrasonic vehicle detectors, vehicle image detectors, CCTVs to keep track of the traffic volume and control the traffic signals — were installed at these crossings by November 2019.

According to the project office, the system could not be installed at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police control room because of the ‘loss’ of one of the server computers from a rented warehouse at Hazaribagh under the Dhaka South City Corporation.

The project office came to know of the incident in January 2020 and filed a case with the Hazaribagh police station in this connection on January 27, 2020.

The case was later transferred to the Detective Branch in February.

The inquiry in the theft is still going on, DTCA director (administration) Md Hemayet Hossain told New Age on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, on November 3, 2020, a three-member departmental investigation committee was formed headed by DTCA traffic enforcement officer Md Abul Khayer, which submitted its report to the Road Transport and Highways Division on November 29.

After an overall analysis it was found that the Japanese technical team left for Japan keeping the server computer— which was stolen — at their personal room on the second floor at the rented warehouse and without properly informing anyone of their departure and giving the room key to anyone, said the committee report.

It also said that when the project office handed over the rented warehouse to the city corporation authorities it seemed that some opportunist people stole the computer as the project office was not aware of the server computer at the Japanese technical team’s room. 

The investigation of the case would provide a clear idea about actually what happened to the computer, it added.

The first project deadline was June 2017 when the estimated cost was Tk 36.37 crore.

With the four extensions and two cost revisions, the project deadline was extended to June 2021 and the cost increased to Tk 52.08 crore.

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