Owing to increasing incidents of burglaries safety is getting top priority. The earlier practice of manual surveillance is being supplemented with e-technology. CCTVs, which are generally seen in malls and jewellery shops, have become a safety essential even for a single household. The availability of better technology and increasing sales has brought down the price. “As a result the volume of business has grown 100 per cent over the last two years,” says S.N. Chaitanya, who is in the business for over eight years now.

He says in the last two years awareness about security and use of CCTVs has gone up considerably. Simultaneously, branded equipment, mostly imported from China, has gained ground. Though cheap unbranded products are available, the preference for quality has also gone up. Cameras with day and night vision are preferred. While those who can afford are going for the entire range right from perimeter to videophone, the others are taking the essentials into consideration. “Such people are going for cameras at the main entrance and the lift covering the stairs and digital video recorder with a monitor,” says Mr. Chaitanya. For a group housing with 10 units, four cameras, a DVR and a monitor comes roughly at Rs.30,000, he says. The sellers are also providing specifications required helping clientele with varied requirement. Over a period of time, the installations for a month have doubled, he says.

The systems are also gaining ground with collective effort. For instance, the gold merchants at Kurupam Market have installed 24 cameras covering the entire street to check movement of people and other elements involved in sale of contraband.

The main concern is safety and security and to instil fear psychosis among thieves that they will be caught, says K. Leela Prasad, consulting engineer. That’s why right from malls covering the entire area to group houses having CCTVs to individual houses having a video door phone has gained prominence, he says. The increase in the value of gold and silver has a lot to do with thieves going for them and residents’ increased concern about safety, he says.

Of late, police are also insisting on installing good equipment so that image quality is good. The earlier systems in malls are being replaced with zoom and 450 TV line cameras to capture pictures with better resolution, he says.

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