Saturday, 4th March , 2017, 02:40 pm,BDST
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Most of the CCTV cameras linger not working



Lastnewsbd, 4th March, Dhaka: DMP sources said 155 CCTV cameras were installed in crime-prone areas and intersections, including Moghbazar, Bijoy Sarani, Aeroplane crossing, Shahbagh, Jatrabari, Gulistan, Gulshan-1, Gulshan-2, Gulshan Shooting Club, Banani Kakoli level-crossing and Mohakhali flyover. Sources said the initial project cost of installing 155 cameras was Tk 270 million but the cost later went up to Tk 410 million. Then, another Tk 200 million was spent on setting up a control room. The project cost finally stood at Tk 614.1 million. The works of installing 155 CCTV cameras, message display boards and construction of new buildings began in July 2007 and ended in 2010. Sources in the DMP headquarters said the costly equipment has been lying unused for the last seven years.

Most closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in the capital do not function properly while others stop working during power outage. The DMP installed about 155 CCTV cameras at 59 key points, including 12 entry and exit points of the city, to check crimes and ease traffic congestion. But it is learnt that none of the 155 CCTV cameras, installed at the expense of public money, is operational now. CCTV cameras in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas, which were installed in recent times to check crimes, are controlled and maintained by the local police stations but more than half of them are out of order. The running cameras also stop working during power outage, according to an official related with the CCTV cameras. DMP source said there is no backup system to keep the CCTV cameras rolling during power outage.

As of Tuesday, the number of CCTV cameras in the area was 742. The CCTV project in Gulshan began in May last year with the aim of setting up 1,200 CCTV cameras. Initially, 130 cameras were set up in Gulshan, Banani, Niketan and Baridhara areas of the city. The DMP will maintain the cameras, bought with funds from different businesses and organisations and at the initiative of Gulshan Society, Baridhara Society, Niketan Society, and Gulshan Youth Club. Police officials are saying nowadays CCTV cameras are one of the important parts of crime investigations. But police failed to use its own cameras to detect the offenders as majority of the devices remain inoperative. After any serious incident, most of the time police managed footage from personal CCTV cameras. A police official said they are being able to apprehend criminals faster after the installation of CCTV cameras in Gulshan, Banani, Niketan and Baridhara areas of the city. Several police officials said they have considered their Gulshan project as a successful one and planned to install similar cameras in other parts of Dhaka with power back-up facilities. When contacted, Sharmin Afroz, Systems Analyst of DMP, said, “The newly-installed cameras in Gulshan Baridhara area are so powerful. It can work in foggy weather and in night. It can also record footage for 48 hours if the cable of the network was down.” “But the cameras have gone blank during power outage as there is no back-up system,” she added. Police headquarters sources said a new project has been initiated to bring the entire Dhaka city under CCTV camera surveillance. They have already sent a proposal in this regard.

According to the proposal, initially around 15,000 thousand CCTV cameras will be setup with an aim to install a total of 50,000 cameras in the capital, sources added. Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, a teacher Criminology Department at Dhaka University, said, “CCTV camera is one of best security equipment. Crime rate will drop sharply if the whole city is brought under CCTV camera surveillance.” He also suggested bringing all private CCTV cameras under one central server. Then, it will be possible to monitor all the cameras centrally.

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