Cops have finalized their plan to install over 1,000 CCTV cameras in the areas around 259 educational institutes located under 71 police stations in the city, more than 13 months after it was initially planned under the Nirbhaya fund scheme. They will spend more than Rs 32 crore for the project out of Rs 181 crore that they are planning to use for various projects in 2021.
In the first phase, the project will cover girls’ schools and a few co-educational schools. After that, the project will be implemented at colleges. Sources said tenders to install these cameras right outside the schools and at their nearest crossings will be floated soon.
“Several schools in the city have CCTVs within their premises. But there is not much CCTV coverage outside on the main road. Our aim is to cover these stretches, from where we often get complaints of harassment,” said a senior officer, adding that several government schools will be benefited under this scheme.
One of the in-charges of Taki House, which houses schools for both boys and girls, welcomed the move of the police. “With children coming in and going out together, it is not always possible to keep an eye on everyone. The CCTV surveillance will also create fear in the minds of those who want to make trouble,” he said.
“We can ascertain whether anti-social activities are taking place close to these security zones. We are trying to track down any suspicious movement with the help of the CCTVs that will also help us study the traffic situation. In the long run, this will help us take measures that can help in bringing down accidents and traffic snarls,” said an officer.
Cops gave the example of Behala where CCTV surveillance was an alien concept before it came under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Police. Loca cops have installed 35 CCTV cameras, in addition to those installed by the traffic police at most of the crossings. As of now, at least 10 schools in Behala will be covered by the CCTV surveillance.