Bangalore figures among the 14 cities in the country where the Union Government, in cooperation with the respective State governments and the municipal and police authorities, will install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public places.

Sources in the State Government told The Hindu that under the plan (for which discussions have begun), over 10,000 CCTV cameras would be installed to monitor sensitive locations across Bangalore and adjoining areas. The cameras will be linked to a central processing centre and monitored on a real-time basis. The information generated at the centre will be utilised, if required, by various enforcement agencies.

The Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, G.K. Pillai, who was in Bangalore a few days ago, held discussions on the implementation of a “city security system” with Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, Principal Secretary K.M. Shivakumar and Director-General and Inspector-General of Police S.T. Ramesh. The State Government has to chip in with 25 per cent of the investment for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs. 200 crore.

In several cities across the world, particularly London, massive investments have been made on installing CCTV cameras to prevent crime. Apart from monitoring the movement of suspicious characters, including possible terrorists, information from the CCTVs has also helped in detecting street robberies, burglaries, shoplifting and theft of and from motor vehicles.

Mr. Pillai has asked the Karnataka Government to submit a detailed plan to the Centre on a “City Security System” for Bangalore, which will help reduce the crime rate. The population of Bangalore is now close to one crore and has increased by nearly 50 per cent over the past decade. The proposal for the installation of CCTV cameras is expected to be prepared by the Home Department in consultation with the Bangalore City Police.

It will also be ensured that the CCTV cameras installed by the Bangalore Traffic Police to monitor traffic offences are also incorporated into the new system instead of the existing cameras being made redundant.

Apart from Bangalore, some of the other cities where CCTVs will be installed to detect crime are New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Pune.

The traffic police have installed CCTV cameras with night vision at 160 junctions across Bangalore. The police also have a well-equipped Traffic Management Centre to monitor footage from the cameras and book offenders.