Panjab University to install 50 cameras on campus (Lead)

June 18th, 2009 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 18 (IANS) To step up security on its sprawling 550-acre campus here, the Panjab University has decided to install over 50 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, an official said here Thursday.
“Earlier, we had installed CCTV cameras on a trial basis in the canteens and at the entrance of all hostels. The response was good and now we have decided to install these devices at various sensitive locations of the university,” Naval Kishore, dean of students’ welfare, told IANS.

The campus in Sectors 14 and 25 of this union territory has over 10,000 students, of which 70 percent are girls.

“These cameras would help us keep an eye on any anti-social behaviour and on students who are habitual offenders,” Kishore said.

A central control room will be made in the administrative block to scrutinize campus activities round the clock. Records would be kept for three months.

“CCTV cameras would be of great help to track the activities of students who stay in the hostels. Usually they come late in the night, often accompanied by outsiders and it is not always feasible for us to question them at those odd hours,” a warden of a boys’ hostel said on the condition of anonymity.

“Many times they also bring liquor inside the hostel rooms and get into brawls but easily escape punishment. Now the fact that somebody is keeping an eye on them will certainly deter them from indulging in such activities.”

The students also welcomed the university’s decision.

Akanksha Sethi, a research scholar, said: “The cameras would curb the rampant violent incidents on campus.”

Amit Sharma, a student leader, said: “I think that CCTV cameras are need of the hour as despite heavy deployment of police force, cases of vehicle theft from the hostel parking are very common. Our security guards usually have no records of visitors and vehicles that enter the campus.”

Apart from police, around 150 security personnel have been employed by the university to maintain law and order on the campus.

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