CCTV in BMTC buses: Activists upset with slow progress

Bengaluru: In the wake of numerous incidents of women being molested in BMTC buses, the corporation in 2014 had decided to install CCTV cameras in 500 buses as a safety measure and in 2017 planned to extend it to 500 more buses.

But so far it has fitted these devices in only 500 buses and is reportedly facing funds crunch. The corporation plies more than 6,000 buses on a daily basis in 2,000 routes, and it is still not clear when rest of the buses will be fitted with these cameras.

According to a Right to Information Act (RTI) copy available with Deccan Chronicle, CCTV cameras were installed in 500 buses by 2014, at the cost of `3.4 crore, which was borne by BMTC.

Recently the corporation announced they were seeking Central Government support of `6.8 crore under the Nirbhaya fund to install CCTV cameras in the remaining 500 buses.

A senior official of BMTC told Deccan Chronicle, "The installations of cameras will be done in a phased manner and definitely BMTC will complete it as announced. The cameras which are already installed are in working condition and regular maintenance is being conducted."

However transport activists are upset with the progress and want the project's scope to be widened to cover all the BMTC buses. "The officials should take it as a serious issue and act immediately because we have found that some of the CCTVs were not in working condition," said Anand, a transport activist.

He also demanded that CCTV cameras should be installed in all 6,000 plus buses, because crime can happen in any bus. "There will be several instances of misbehaviour in buses, but only a few passengers register complaints as most are in a hurry to reach their destination and don't find time to follow it up. In such cases CCTVs can be very helpful," Anand added.

The travelling public too have welcomed the idea of CCTV cameras in buses, but they want it to be implemented faster. "It seems BMTC has received very good result because the cameras reportedly acted as a deterrent and also helped in solving crimes. It is expected to reduce instances of misbehaviour with women by bus staff or fellow passengers and curb pick-pocketing. But it is very bad that BMTC is delaying the project to cover all the 6,000 buses," said Kiran Kumar K.l., a businessman.

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