In order to keep strict vigil on movement and activities of antisocial elements in and around McLeodganj and Dharamsala town, the state government has planned foolproof surveillance system involving installation of high-definition close circuit television cameras (CCTV).
McLeodganj holds international importance for it being the abode of exile-Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The district police have chalked out initial plan to install cameras and set up control rooms. Headquarters deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Hitesh Lakhanpal, who is overseeing the project, said that at least two dozen HD cameras would be installed at strategic locations.
“Thirteen cameras will be installed at different locations in and around McLeodganj,” said Lakhanpal.
All the roads connecting McLeodganj with Dharamsala will be covered under the project. Apart from it, CCTV cameras will be installed at Dharamkot, Bhagsunag and Naddi village. Dharamkot village, overlooking Dharamsala town is favorite among the Israeli tourist and popularly called as 'Tel Aviv of the Hills.
Last year, terror threat to Israeli tourist had kept the district police on toes for over a month. With not proper surveillance system, the authorities faced difficulty in keeping a vigil in Dharamkot and a large police force was deployed for security purpose.
Naddi village is a famous tourist destination, while Bhagsunag has its importance from religious point of view and is visited by hundreds of tourists from adjoining states to take a dip in the holy waters in the village.
Meanwhile, Lakhanpal said that half a dozen cameras would be installed in Dharamsala town also. “Some of these will be 360 degrees camera,” said the DSP, adding that two control rooms would be set up under the project- one each at McLeodganj and Dharamsala police stations. The project is pegged at around `50-80 lakh and is likely to be completed in the next six months.
“New surveillance system will be helpful in curbing activities of anti-social elements, check traffic violations and keep round the clock vigil in the two hill-towns,” said Lakhanpal.
It is worth mentioning that the district police have put in place heavy security arrangements in McLeodganj- particularly the palace of Dalai Lama where police contingent remain on the guard round the clock.