At least 15 CCTV cameras are installed at different locations on Aurangzeb Road, where on Monday afternoon an official Israeli embassy-owned vehicle erupted in flames. Not even a single one of these, however, could catch the action.
That is because all of them - including two installed at the Israeli and Canadian embassies located on the same stretch and a stone's throw away from the Prime Minister's residence - are 'privately' installed and were looking 'the other way'."No recorded footage could be recovered from these cameras because their point of focus was at or near the entrance to the house where they are installed, not the street where the incident occurred," admitted a senior police officer.
According to Delhi Police, more than 1,054 CCTV cameras installed across the Capital relay live video feeds to the C4i Centre at their headquarters every day. More than 200 of these are installed in the New Delhi area.
But, even after terrorist onslaughts became something of an annual feature post-2005, installing their own CCTVs in this high-security zone never occurred either to the government or Delhi Police.
"India Gate has CCTV cameras installed at more than 40 locations while there are more than 30 cameras each at Jantar Mantar and across Connaught Place. But there has never been a proposal to install cameras there (Aurangzeb Road)," the officer admitted.
This happens to be the state of affairs just a month after the Delhi Police claimed it was ready to deliver on a promise it made more than two years ago - of having 58 markets and 27 border check-posts under watchful, electronic eyes by March 31, 2010.
On January 7, HT had reported on the police's wait for a nod from the ministry of home affairs to acquire and install special surveillance cameras at 24 markets and at least 10 more border check posts.
Even these new cameras, however, were only to be installed at market areas and border posts such as the DND Flyover, Kalindi Kunj, Tughlakabad Shooting Range, Chilla Border, Loni Border and Fatehpur Beri among others.
"There is lot of foot patrolling and security provided by the local police. However, had there been a coordinated CCTV surveillance system, we would have been able to generate more leads," the officer said.