Focus goes off CCTV cameras as funds lie idle

Bengaluru police fail to use Rs 25 crore meant for better vigil

Focus goes off CCTV cameras as funds lie idle

 At a time when constant vigil and installation of CCTV cameras in public places are increasingly become necessary, given the heightened security threats, the Bengaluru police seem to be casual about it.

They are sitting on funds worth Rs 25 crore meant for installing CCTV cameras at locations considered vulnerable, since 2005.

Among the locations are the Vidhana Soudha and busy spots in the Central Business District.

As the police look to trace the suspect in the Church Street blast, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced on Monday that the government will ask private establishments to instal CCTV cameras outside their premises to monitor suspicious movements.

But the City police have not been able to utilise the funds for the intended purpose due to apathy on the part of the police top brass, highly placed sources in the government said.

In 2005, efforts were made, following an initiative by the then City Police Commissioner Bipin Gopalakrishna, to instal the CCTVs. However, it never came about.

For reasons unknown, the responsibility to instal these cameras was handed over to the Karnataka Police Housing Corporation. Subsequently, over the last few years, no police commissioner took the responsibility to get the cameras installed.

Sources said the apathetic approach by officials and the lack of political will had resulted in these funds remaining unutilised.

The fate of the Rs 25 crore remains unknown. Police officials said the issue of the unused funds came up during their meeting with Siddaramaiah on Monday. However, there was no clarity on the outcome of the discussion.

Also, since 2007, no camera at 180 traffic junctions has been upgraded or no new camera has been installed. Sources said most of these cameras had become obsolete and needed to be replaced for better quality footage.

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