Hyderabad: The Mumbai blasts seem to have jolted the local police and the public alike. In less than a week since the serial blasts, the Hyderabad police have sought 600 additional closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. On the other hand, the images of the blasts seem to have made a significant impact on Hyderabadis as the police control room is flooded with alerts about suspicious people or objects.
As of now, there are 225 CCTV cameras in the Hyderabad police commissionerate limits while there are 55 in the Cyberabad police jurisdiction.
According to Hyderabad police commissioner A K Khan, the cameras have been used for various purposes. “Apart from traffic regulation, they are useful in maintaining law and order. We have used the camera feed to nab some accused during communal clashes last year and the ongoing Telangana agitation,” Khan added.
CCTV footage has been playing a crucial role in the investigation of several crime cases, including the recent Mumbai blasts and the murder of Mid Day scribe J Dey.
Following the Mumbai blasts, director-general of police (DGP) V Dinesh Reddy held a review meeting with the police commissioners from the city. During the meeting, the commissioners reportedly brought to the notice of the DGP about the need to install more CCTV cameras in the city.
Following the meeting, the Hyderabad police have sent a proposal to the DGP asking for 600 more CCTV cameras. “We actually need over 1,000 cameras, but initially requested for 600. Tenders have been called for installation of the cameras. We might get about 200 cameras in the first phase,” Khan said. The new cameras would cost about Rs six crore.
The Cyberabad police too sent a proposal to the DGP’s office asking for 20 high-resolution surveillance cameras similar to 13 installed by the Cyberabad Security Council on the Cyber Towers to Hi-Tec City road. “Cyberabad requires about 200 more CCTV cameras at places like Uppal, LB Nagar, Shamirpet, Gachibowli, Kukatpally, Chandanagar and Madhapur. To begin with, we asked for 20 which will cost about Rs one crore,” Cyberabad commissoner Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao told TOI.
While installation of cameras is one aspect, their maintenance has become a burden for the police units. Due to non-payment of broadband bills, currently 40 per cent of CCTV cameras in Hyderabad and 50 per cent in Cyberabad are defunct. “In the given security scenario, we have written a letter to the GHMC requesting it to release maintenance funds as decided earlier,” Khan said. The Cyberabad police have also written to the state government to sanction money for maintenance.
During a recent security sensitisation programme held with managements of malls, cinema halls and private security agencies, the city police have advised them about the need to install CCTV cameras and door-frame metal detectors (DFMDs).
“We have written to cinema hall managements to screen terror awareness short film ‘Meri Jaan Hyderabad’ before each screening. The control room staff have also been made aware about terror-related alerts from people and vacancies have been filled up on an emergency basis,” Khan said. The city police also wrote to the Minority Welfare Commission asking them to immediately replace or repair the 13 defunct CCTV cameras at Mecca Masjid before the start of the holy month of Ramzan. TOI