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e-Security begins at savvy capital homes
- Residents bank on CCTV vigil to keep intruders at bay

Self-defence is the best defence, believe progressive citizens of Ranchi.

Though their numbers are far too less compared to the capital’s population of 29.12 lakh, many tech-savvy and responsible residents are embracing electronic surveillance to safeguard not just their own property, but also to thwart crime in their neighbourhoods.

Take for instance geologist Nitish Priyadarshi who installed three closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at his Circular Road residence six months ago. “The gadgets are placed at the gate, in the backyard and on the veranda, thus covering our house from three sides. I can monitor the feed from my room anytime I want,” he said.

Priyadarshi invested around Rs 20,000 for the entire set-up and has no regrets at all. “Trust me, ever since I installed the CCTV cameras, there has been no unwanted assembly of people outside my house. Since we live right next to Ranchi Women’s College, the area is a favourite haunt of tease gangs. These local youths used to smoke in public and make passes at college girls, making us uncomfortable at times. I don’t see them near my house anymore.”

The surveillance system has also done away with chanda gangs (donation seekers) who become very demanding during the festive season, the geologist added.

Chutia resident Ranjit Pandit too found camera camaraderie two months ago. He has one CCTV unit installed at his home and three at his shop. The iron businessman recalled how his camera cops busted a thief recently.

“A few days ago, a 20kg weight kept on my corridor was stolen at night. Next day, we watched the footage to discover the culprit was a local rickshaw-puller. Confronted, he returned what he had stolen and has never been seen in this neighbourhood since,” said Pandit who is now planning to put up two more cameras at his home.

“The CCTV unit at my residence faces the road and captures images of the entire street leading to my door. Since everyone knows that we have a camera, petty crimes have come down in our area. We don’t have to rely on police for everything,” he added.

A pathologist with Apollo Hospitals and resident of Sri Krishna Enclave in North Office Para, Dr Manju Aggarwal is among the frontrunners in being safe than sorry. CCTV cameras monitor her house for four years now.

“After my husband’s death in 2010, I have been living alone here. I decided to have a camera at the door to keep me safe from intruders,” the elderly widow said.

If Vijay Kumar Srivastava of Max Rider — one of the trusted agencies providing the surveillance system — is to be believed, the demand for CCTV cameras at homes has increased in the past two years.

“Earlier, camera surveillance was restricted to malls, shops, hotels and sometimes hospitals. Today, we have more individual customers who come looking for home security. On an average in a month, I install eight to 10 CCTV cameras at homes, where mostly the elderly or single women live,” he said.

City SP Anoop Birtharay welcomed the citizens’ move.

“Cameras at homes are common in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta. We are glad Ranchiites are joining this league of responsible residents,” he said, adding that the trend would help police crack crimes two times faster. “On many occasions, cases become weak for want of proof. A CCTV footage can serve as strong legal evidence.”

Have you taken steps to ensure safety at home?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com