The Hans India: Hyderabad: Friday, March 17, 2017.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced on August 13, 2014 that as part of measures to strengthen security and check crime, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed across Hyderabad city. "Installation of CCTVs in London has brought down crime rate by as much as 80 per cent.
As part of security measures, CCTVs will be installed in Hyderabad city in the next three months,” he added. The Public Information Officer of city Police Commissionerate revealed in his answer to the application filed under the RTI by The Hans India that the CCTVs are being installed at various places leaving aside the problematic areas like Charminar, Hussaini Alam, Moghalpura and others, which fall under South Zone of the city.
However, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Zone, V Satyanarayana told The Hans India that CCTV cameras have been installed in almost all police stations in South Zone.
He also said that there were three types of installations made one is through the funds released by the government, second one is by the community and the third set of CCTVs were installed by organisations like NMDC as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
“Charminar area has CCTV cameras which can be zoomed in 360 degrees, while 20 CCTV cameras have been installed in Hussaini Alam police station limits. Work is in progress to install more number of CCTVs in the South Zone,” the DCP said.
Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy tweeted on his Twitter account on March 15, “As carried in the media today, Hyderabad City ranked as the Best City in India in Quality of Living Standards by Mercer, A New York based consulting firm in its Annual worldwide rankings for the year 2016 primarily on account of Low Crime Rate, Low Air Pollution and better choice of educational institutions.
It is a testimony for the impact created by Hyderabad Police in the areas of Public Safety and Security.”(sic) However, when the RTI application sought information regarding the details of CCTVs installed in the city, the Public Information Officer and the Additional Commissioner (Admin) informed The Hans India that “the details of the locations/landmarks of the CCTV cameras with landmarks cannot be disclosed under Rule 8(1) & (g) of RTI Act, 2005.” (sic)
When asked about the number of CCTVs installed in the limits of Hyderabad as on June 2, 2014, he stated that no surveillance cameras were installed within the law and order jurisdiction of Hyderabad city police.
The application also sought information regarding the funds sanctioned by the government for installation of CCTVs and actually released, the report of the expenditure on CCTVs and the location of CCTVs in the city.
The PIO stated that these cameras were installed from the month of December 2015 through the funds sanctioned by the MPs/MLAs/MLCs and Ministers under various Law & Orders Police Stations falling under their jurisdiction (sic).
The details of the locations/landmarks of the CCTV cameras with landmarks cannot be disclosed under Rule 8(1) & (g) of RTI Act 2005 because the disclosure of the same would prejudicially affect the security, strategic interests of the State and since the CCTV cameras main purpose is for effective law enforcement or security purpose, the same cannot be disclosed, he added.
One could understand that there was something fishy in the whole issue if the department refuses to divulge information regarding CCTVs which were purchased by the taxpayers’ money. There are 60 police stations and three women police stations in the limits of the city Police Commissionerate.
The PIO stated that 1479 CCTV cameras were installed in the limits of 47 police stations and some were under process. In essence, no CCTVs were installed in the limits of the rest of 20 police stations and the three women police stations.
The PIO stated that the government sanctioned Rs 10,65,02,828, the actual project cost is 10,41,54, 425. The Collector released Rs 7,47,20,625 and the actual expenditure was Rs 5,48,68, 382. It is clear that only fifty per cent of the sanctioned amount was spent.
According to the PIO, maximum number of 147 CCTVs was installed in the limits of Mangalhat police station and 146 in the limits of Nallakunta police station. However, only two CCTVs each were installed in the limits of Abids and Afzalgunj police stations.
Cameras installed: Musheerabad 100, Kachiguda 86, SR Nagar, 74, Saidabad 73, Amberpet 58, Bowenpally 54 Habeebnagar 53, OU city and OU 50, Tappachabutra 48, Golconda 45, Marredpally 43, Chikkadapally 40, Begum Bazar 36, Banjara Hills 35, Nampally 34, Kulsumpura 34, Chatrinaka 34, Shaalibanda 34, Bahadurpura 33, Tukaram Gate 32, Saifabad 32, Sultan Bazar 32, Gandhinagar 28, Malakpet 16, Chadarghat 21, Kamatipura 13, Chandrayanagutta 13, Market PS 12, Begumpet 7, Mahankali 7, Tirumalgherry 6, Madannapet 5, Rein Bazar 4, Panjagutta 3, Shahinayatgunj 3.