Of a total of 163 lhakhangs interested to install CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras, only nine lhakhangs in Bumthang have installed the cameras as of yesterday.

Of about 1,800 registered lhakhangs in the country, only 163 lhakhang owners and caretakers volunteered to bear the installation costs of the cameras in their lhakhangs. A total of 321 CCTV cameras are required by these lhakhangs.

Owners and caretakers of 11 lhakhangs in Bumthang had deposited the money to the Royal Bhutan Police’s bank account to install CCTV cameras in their lhakhangs. Two lhakhangs are yet to install the cameras because they are currently being renovated.

The former chief of police Kipchu Namgyel initiated the work to install CCTV cameras in lhakhangs in the country as one of the crime prevention measures.

The RBP has been sensitising caretakers and owners of lhakhangs in the country about the benefit of having CCTV cameras in lhakhangs since 2015.

The former police chief, during a press conference held in May last year said that individual and respective lhakhangs have to bear the cost of installing CCTV cameras while the RBP will collaborate to float tenders to install the CCTV cameras.

A police official said that the RBP is collaborating with the lhakhang owners to float tenders to ensure that the cameras are of high quality and have good resolution. “We want to help the lhakhangs have the right CCTV cameras in them,” the official said.

However, none of the lhakhang owners in Punakha, Gasa, Chukha, Sarpang, Dagana, Mongar and Trashiyangtse volunteered to bear the costs of installing the cameras.

The official said that some lhakhang owners in these dzongkhags said that they couldn’t afford it.

It cost about Nu 50,700 to install two cameras, a dome camera and a fixed camera in a lhakhang, including the accessories.

The official said that the company who got the work to install the cameras in the lhakhangs doesn’t charge an installation fee.

Dechen Tshomo