Till about a week ago, Nand Kishore Sachdeva (45) would spend sleepless nights at home whenever he forgot his weekly cash earnings at his Sadar Bazar shop.
But now, all he needs to do is log on to the Internet.
“We have created an integrated video web server which shows combined video footage from all the CCTVs cameras installed in the market,” said Paramjit Singh Pamma, president, Baari Bazar Traders’ Association.
“What this essentially means is that any shopkeeper with an internet connection and a password provided by the traders’ association can virtually ‘see’ his shop through the footage - anywhere and anytime.”
Though CCTV cameras have been installed at 16 locations throughout Sadar Bazar's congested Baari Market over the last four months, the integrated video web server went online on March 22.
“Most traders got anxious after two mass break-ins were attempted at about a dozen shops in early March. After the last such incident on March 15, we called a meeting with the SHO of the local police station, a private security agency and just went online with financial contributions from each shopkeeper,” said Pamma.
The server allows access to live video footage from 16 CCTV cameras overlooking the 200 shops in the mini-market, an archiving option that allows users to access 24x7 footage of the last nine days as well as a cut-copy-paste facility.
“It’s like an assurance service,” said Sachdeva, who has been a wardrobe buttons wholesaler at the market for two decades.
“Even if my shop does get burgled, there’s a chance of identifying the criminals and recovering the loot.”
Agreed Rishi Aggarwal (23), a cards wholesaler.
“Incidents of pick pocketing and snatching within the market's premises have gone down since we got the system installed. It seems criminals are staying away out of the fear of being identified.”
What's more - even the local police station has access to the footage.
“CCTV surveillance enhances the security of the whole area. The traders' association has taken a welcome step in this direction and I hope other market associations take a lead from it,” said Sagar Preet Hooda, deputy commissioner of police (north) Delhi.