Dark spots in the city: Is Hyderabad sufficiently covered by CCTV?

Hyderabad: In the wake of the horrific gang rape and murder of the veterinarian, women safety in the city has come under scrutiny. Out of the 10,000 CCTV cameras that were to be installed as part of the Safe City project, in Hyderabad, only 5,278 CCTV cameras have been set up, as of October 2019. Hyderabad has become only 50% ‘Safe City’ as of now.

The city comes under the purview of the Safe City project, launched in February 2019. The Empowered Committee of Officers for Nirbhaya funds scheme had approved these Safe City projects in eight selected metropolitan cities — Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. Developed to provide safety to women in public places, Rs 2919.55 crore has been allocated to the project.

CCTV cameras installed in public places assisted Cyberabad police in catching the culprits involved in the vet doctor’s rape and murder case, within a short amount of time. At present, all CC cameras in Hyderabad and Cyberabad are geo-tagged, which specifies the location. Police officials can search for CCTV footage across the city based on latitude and longitude, which comes in handy while deciphering crime scenes.

However, the question remains as to whether all parts of the city have been sufficiently brought under surveillance. Talking about seemingly unsafe areas in the city, Sai Teja, a civic activist says, “There is no illumination along the Miyapur-Ameenpur stretch. The same goes for the Kukatpally IDL road, which goes to Hitec City. I have also felt that Bachupally to Gandimaisama stretch is highly unsafe.”

According to the data provided by the IT Cell of Hyderabad city police, the total number of CCTV cameras functioning in the city amount to over 3.03 lakh. As part of ‘Nenu Saitham’ CCTV project alone, Hyderabad police had installed over three lakh cameras. The rest consists of 8,994 cameras which have been installed as part of a community CCTV project, as per data obtained until October 2019. About 2,435 cameras have been set up with the MP and MLA funds, while 950 cameras have been installed as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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