CCTV cameras in BEST buses just an eyewash

1,600 of them do not have DVRs for recording incidents

Mumbai : The next time you travel on a BEST bus, don’t be conscious of the CCTV camera watching you.

 The cameras installed in BEST buses for ensuring women’s safety work are eyewash with very few digital video recorders (DVRs) in place for recording the visuals.   This sorry state of affairs in BEST buses came to light after a woman passenger lodged a harassment complaint.

The bus she was travelling in was recently taken to the Kala Chowki police station where the cops asked for the video footage to substantiate her claim. But there was no recording made.   This incident was highlighted by MNS corporator Kedar Hombalkar during a BEST committee meeting on Thursday.

  The committee members then questioned the BEST management for lack of maintenance and monitoring of cameras in buses.

  Hombalkar later told journalists that the bus which was taken to the police station was equipped with a camera as well as a DVR. But they were not connected due to which there was no recording done.   “CCTV cameras will not serve the purpose unless the BEST maintains them and keeps a rigorous check on them,” he said.

 However, BEST General Manager, OP Gupta said, “The work of putting up the CCTV cameras has been completed but that of the DVR is still going on. It was to be completed by March 2014. But there was a delay.”

Hombalker said: “Mob psychology is very different. Had the passengers known about the non-functional CCTV cameras, they would have beaten up the conductor.”

So far, as many as 3,800 BEST buses have been equipped with CCTV cameras. Of this, 1,600 CCTV cameras do not have DVRs for recording the incidents.

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