By S.T. Ravikumar
The sprawling 200-acre campus of University of Mysore — Manasagangothri — has been fortified with over 760 Close Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras at every nook and corner. Works to install the cameras have almost completed and the University has spent over Rs. 5 crore for the project.
All entry and exit points, academic and study centres, Departments and Libraries have been equipped with hi-definition cameras and a Mysuru-based firm Convergence Systems has been given the contract of installing the cameras and maintaining the same for three years.
The University took this step after some anti-national incidents were reported from inside the campus during the controversial protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
All the 760 cameras have a feature of recording and the footages can be stored up to six months. They can rotate at 90-degree angle and can capture visuals from a distance of 500 metres. University sources told Star of Mysore that the installation of CCTV cameras across the campus would ensure safety and security of students and staff and help the authorities monitor the activities on campus. A centralised Surveillance Centre (Control Room) has been set up at the Computer Science Department.
The Control Room will function round-the-clock and five people have been deputed to work in shifts. The Control Room has giant TV screens that continuously air visuals recorded in the cameras. Also, cameras have been installed at Crawford Hall and Evaluation Bhavan and both the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar can watch the visuals from their Chambers.
Cameras have been installed across the campus which covers Department corridors, campus roads, and at entrance and exit gates near Kukkarahalli Lake (East), Bogadi Road where Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Statue has been established (South), SJCE side gate (West) and B.N. Bahadur Institute of Management Science on Hunsur Road (North). Cameras have the capacity to capture the number plates of vehicles entering and exiting the campus.
The University has more than 57 Departments and Study Centres spread across the campus including the Kannada Adhyayana Kendra, Humanities Block, Gandhi Bhavan, Senate Bhavan, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Research Centre, Vigyan Bhavan, Village Hostel, Fine Arts College, Goutham Hostel and Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion (Museum). There is also a Library, auditorium and playground where surveillance cameras have been installed.
Earlier too, there were certain CCTV cameras inside the campus but most of them were non-functional and clear visuals were not captured. “We have replaced all the old cameras with high-definition cameras. Henceforth, if anyone indulges in illegal activities inside the campus or creates nuisance by spoiling academic activities, they can easily be identified and action can be taken,” University authorities said.
However, cameras have not been installed inside the nearly 100-acre Kukkarahalli Lake premises (UoM is the custodian of the Lake) as it may trouble the vast bird population that have made the Lake their home, sources said.