Most of the BMTC buses lack CCTV cameras despite an investment of Rs. 3.4crore.
Only 900 out of the 6400 buses have CCTV cameras in it. In the year 2012 BMTC decided to install CCTV cameras after several rape and molestation cases got reported. An amount of Rs. 3.4 crore was sanctioned to install the cameras in 6000 buses, out of which only 500 buses have CCTV cameras. Since the advent of 400 Volvo and midi buses, which have an inbuilt CCTV camera, the total number of buses with cameras has risen to 900.
BMTC official Deepak said that the department does not have enough funds to complete the project of installing cameras in buses. He said, “Monitoring the data is a big challenge for us. The government is also not providing proper funds. How do you expect us to install cameras in 6000 buses with just Rs. 3.4 crore.”
The reports of city transport crime, for January 2019 till August 2019 state that there have been many cases of theft and 110 cases of assault in buses of which only 5% have been solved.
A bus theft victim, Rajat Bhatia said, “Last month I was travelling on the BMTC bus. I had a Samsung phone worth Rs. 28,000. It got stolen on the bus. There isn’t any security on these buses. I registered the complaint but they don’t have any evidence to catch the culprit. So, nothing has been done by the police till now.”
The BMTC department states that the cost of installing and maintaining a camera for 3 years is Rs. 68,000 per bus. An amount of Rs. 40 crore is needed for installing cameras in all 6000 buses, they added.
The official said that to increase the number of cameras they have taken several initiatives and installed an intelligent transport system, GPS and several mobile apps to track the buses.
The advisor to the government on transportation, M.N. Sreehari said that the lack of enough manpower for strict monitoring and proper workstations is a cause of this inefficiency. He said, “BMTC doesn’t have any proper workstation. Apart from that there is not enough manpower to monitor the cameras and that’s why the government is also not willing to invest the money. To improve the situation they should first build workstations before installing cameras and provide enough man power to monitor the cameras.”
BMTC had decided to install cameras in 1000 buses, in 2019, with real-time monitoring systems under the Nirbhaya Scheme. Each bus is supposed to have 3 cameras. They have requested funds from the government to complete the work.