Cubbon Park CCTV cameras to curb thugs or hugs?

Cubbon Park CCTV cameras to curb thugs or hugs?

DH graphics.

Couples who sought the privacy of Cubbon Park’s bushes for their private moments will have to move elsewhere as Bescom has started installing 100 CCTV cameras in the garden.

The Horticulture Department, which maintains the park, wants to keep a close watch on the activities in the park as part of the steps to ensure the safety of visitors.

Deputy Director of Horticulture Department (Cubbon Park) Mahantesh Murgod said, “Bescom will install CCTV cameras at 100 different locations and LED lights at 350 places. The project is expected to be completed in three months.”

Asked about the reason for installing the CCTV cameras, Murgod it was mainly to ensure the safety of visitors to the park. “There were several cases of vehicle theft and robbery. The cameras will provide a sense of security to visitors,” he said. However, another official told DH that they hope the cameras and lights will end the “menace of public display of affection (PDA)”. “In recent days, there have been many complaints about couples crossing limits and causing inconvenience to the public,” he said.

At present, 32 personnel from the Horticulture Department work in three shifts to keep an eye on activities in the park spread over 392 acres.

An inspector from the Cubbon Park police station also said that PDA was a “huge problem” but no one was coming forward to register a case. “People only complain and refuse to file a case. Hence, we go on rounds and warn those engaging in obscene acts.”

Another police official opined that the CCTVs will help in checking “illegal and criminal activities” in the park. “There are occasional cases of stalking and eve-teasing. There have been complaints of harassment and vehicle thefts.”

Bescom is also setting up a control room to store the footage.

The Horticulture Department will access the camera to spot any criminal activity and pass on the evidence to the police, Murgod said.

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