The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) hopes that its plan to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras on about 500 buses will not only ensure safety of commuters but also streamline its operation.
After the December gang-rape case in Delhi, it was proposed to install CCTV cameras on city buses, to address complaints of the crew as well as male passengers misbehaving with women. BMTC also hoped the surveillance would help tackle the issue of pick-pockets on buses.
How it works
BMTC general manager (technical) C.G. Anand said buses would be randomly selected for installation of cameras and each bus would have at least two of them.
Footage would be recorded on a digital video recorder (DVR), which could store the data for a week. BMTC personnel would not monitor the footage; they would watch it in case of complaints made by passengers, within this time. After a week, the footage gets overwritten, he said.
He argued that installing the cameras without revealing which bus they were on would make miscreants behave.
The BMTC officials would, however, watch the recording at regular intervals to know more about operational intricacies, Mr. Anand said. They could find out about the actual time taken for journey, if the bus had stopped at all designated stops, whether the conductor was issuing tickets, and such issues. They would use this to streamline operations.
The contract for the cameras has been awarded to the Hyderabad-based Matrix, which installed the first one on the recently launched Big Trunk service. BMTC has asked for some improvements, and the contractor is to begin installation by next month. The units would cost Rs. 68,000 per bus.
Asked whether the crew would have control over the functioning of the cameras, Mr. Anand said they were photosensitive and would begin recording when there was movement of people.