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A motorcyclist escaped punishment for injuring an elderly person in Vidyaranyapura on June 28 thanks to a malfunction surveillance camera.

The story of Chandrasekhar G testifies to the apathy and neglect of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the maintenance of CCTV cameras installed at strategic locations in the city.

“I was waiting to cross the road after feed stray dogs. I decided to wait for a two-wheeler approaching to pass; but the bike hit me from behind; I fell on the road. The runner pulled away from the spot soon after. I had hip surgery in a private hospital. I was in the hospital for over a week and spent Rs 1.50 lakh for medical bills” Chandrasekhar said.

He said there was no adequate street lighting on the road, which made it difficult for him to glean the registration number of the vehicle.

“I filed a complaint with the Yelahanka traffic police; they tried their best to help me but they couldn’t do anything after they found the missing CCTV camera, installed at the bus stop which is very close to the accident site. The camera was installed by the Vidyaranyapura police inspector a few years ago,” he said, adding that it would have been easy for the police to catch the accused if the CCTV camera had been in good condition.

A CCTV camera disappeared at a bus stop in Vidyaranyapura

Millions of rupees have been spent to install these cameras.

The BBMP, in addition to the CCTV cameras it has installed on various lakes and along the roads, decided last year to install 2,415 additional CCTV cameras at vulnerable garbage collection points in the city.

Meanwhile, citizens BM spoke to said installing CCTV cameras helps, but maintenance should be a priority.

Srinath Mandyam, a social activist, called on the authorities, the BBMP as well as the police to assign manpower to maintain the CCTV cameras in and around Vidyaranyapura. He said most of the CCTV cameras installed a few years ago by the Residents’ Welfare Association and the police are not in working order.

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“The problem with the concerned authorities is that although they installed the CCTV cameras, they did not appoint an agency for the annual maintenance of the cameras,” Mandyam said.

Stressing the need to install CCTV cameras in and around Vidyaranyapura, Chandrasekhar recalled how locals had formed teams to patrol the locality.

“Home burglaries have been a source of concern for residents for a few months. We have formed a few teams to patrol the area to prevent burglaries,” he said.

Police couldn’t do anything after finding the missing CCTV camera

— Chandrasekhar G, injured

Meanwhile, a traffic police chief at Yelahanka Traffic Police the station said it tried to find the bike’s registration number using footage from CCTV cameras set up by a few residents; but was unsuccessful due to lack of proper lighting at night.

“The CCTV camera installed near the bus stop is not working. We also checked the CCTV installed at MS Palya Junction but could not find such a bike as described by Chandrasekhar after crossing the crossroads,” he said.

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