Jamshedpur’s Sakchi Square is one of the places where CCTV cameras will be installed soon. (Bhola Prasad)
Criminals targeting women at public places in Jamshedpur will soon be under surveillance with the government planning to make the best possible use of idle closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras — last used during the National Games — in four major cities.
State principal home secretary J.B. Tubid has asked East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police (SSP) Akhilesh Kumar Jha to carry out a survey in and around the steel city and submit a report to the department within a fortnight. He has also passed directives to the police in Ranchi, Dhanbad and Bokaro.
Tubid told The Telegraph that the department would start installing the CCTV cameras after receiving the survey report from the SSP.
“We have an adequate number of CCTV cameras at our disposal. The gadgets, procured for the 34th National Games (held in Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Dhanbad in February 2011), are lying idle. We will use them in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro,” he said.
Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar mooted the idea last month when he wrote to the home secretary about the status of the cameras and even offered to help monetarily to purchase and install them in the wake of the rising fear among girls after the Delhi gang rape.
The MP, who had a fairly successful stint as the city superintendent of police in 1994-96, had said that the CCTV cameras obtained by Jamshedpur during the Games were lying idle at JRD Tata Sports Complex and could be installed for better crime control and evoking fear among habitual eve-teasers.
Confirming the development, SSP Jha said the police had already begun preparing the survey. “We will be submitting the survey report to the home department in time. The CCTV cameras will be installed in around 30 public places. This will help us in keeping tabs on offenders on roads and at public places. We will also devise a plan on the logistics,” he added.
Sources in the district police revealed that the places where the CCTV cameras would be installed include Bistupur and Sakchi squares, the traffic island at Circuit House, Sonari, Agrico traffic signal, Telco square near the Tata Motors company gate and Baridih market.
The cameras will be linked to the police control room near Sakchi station.
State police spokesperson and IG (special branch and operations) S.N. Pradhan said, “In Jamshedpur, we will connect the cameras to the police control room and designated officials will keep an eye on the CCTV on a central monitor. We have to ensure that the cameras function properly and any technical glitches are ironed out immediately. Officers in the respective police stations will be asked to ensure that the CCTV cameras are not stolen.”
The administration had notably introduced CCTV cameras at hi-tech traffic booths in Sakchi in August 2011, but the gadgets were stolen in December that year.
Women organisations feel that installation of CCTV cameras would partly help in curbing crimes if police routinely monitored the footages. “Merely installing CCTV cameras will not serve the purpose. The police should monitor the recordings and take action. However, CCTV footage can be used as evidence to nail the culprits after a girl lodges the FIR,” said Purabi Paul of Mahila Samanvaya Samity, an umbrella outfit of 15 women organisations.
She also suggested that recruitment of adequate number of women constables and deputing them in plain clothes at places frequented by miscreants would be a more effective method to counter such offenders.