Officials said, will be replaced soon

The Tsirang dzongkhag tender committee is in the process of procuring new closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to replace the cameras in the Damphu town that had become defunct now.

The security devices were installed in 2016 and 2018.  Kuensel source said that all the cameras were not working while officials earlier claimed that three cameras were damaged by thunderstorm and lightning in April.

In 2016, a Thimphu-based trader, TCD installed about 10 Alcon brand cameras with 16 Channel NVR. Two years later, a Damphu-based business, Gyeltshen Electronics installed six HIKVISION brand cameras with 16 channels NVR, according to the source. Damphu Municipal officials said that about Nu 0.9M has been spent for installation of the cameras then.

The officials said that the cameras were installed with the warranty period of one year. “The terms and situations do not warrant free repair and adjustment services in case of a malfunction occurred under natural calamities,” said a municipal official.

Kuensel’s source alleged that the cameras became dysfunctional because of poor working experience.  “All Electrical works are left outdoors without any safety which causes short circuit damaging all wireless access point and cameras,” the source said.

Although attempts were made to repair the damaged cameras immediately, Tsirang Dzongdag Pema said that a dealer in Thimphu, Ugen Trading House, asked for an estimated cost of Nu 0.9 million (M). “But recently, we have been aware that an entrepreneur has installed more than 20 CCTV cameras with better features at reasonable cost in other dzongkhags.” “Therefore, we have decided to contact the dealer to collect information and know the modality,” he said.

He said that accordingly the agenda would be discussed in the committee for the tendering process.

According to a police source, the point of entry switches of the cameras were damaged but no destruction has occurred to the cameras. The official said that the damage would be rectified and cameras made functional to carry out regular surveillance.

Given the constant monitoring and surveillance in and around the core areas in the wake of Covid-19, officials said that no criminal cases were reported so far.

Today, a team comprising of police personnel, De-ssup, Bhutan Red Cross Society members and dzongkhag health and municipal officials conduct constant monitoring in and around core town areas in Damphu. The police official said that the installation of cameras helped reduce crime in the town.

The cameras cover an area more than 2.02 square kilometers in the town.

In order to protect the structure from the natural calamities and make it permanent, the dzongkhag plans to lay fiber optic system and carry out underground cabling. With the financial support from the dzongkhag, police monitor the CCTV cameras, today.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the CCTV cameras in the Tsirang Dzong are also not functioning.

Chimi Dema | Tsirang with inputs from Thimphu