The Sri Lankan government has set up the country’s first closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera system in the capital city of Colombo.
More than 100 cameras, which began operating Wednesday, have been installed around the city, and the images that are transmitted continuously can be viewed at a control room on 28 LCD screens, according to a defense ministry statement. The system has the functionality to store the acquired images for several days.
Secretary of Defense , who initiated the project, inaugurated the surveillance system at the Police Welfare Society building where the control room is located. Rajapaksa reportedly proposed the idea a year ago but its implementation was delayed due to the high cost of the technology.
According to officials, the cameras serve two objectives: to assist with national security issues and to help manage traffic in the country’s largest city.
A statement on the website of the Government Information Department stated that “the police will maintain vigilance through CCTV cameras to combat crime and to carry out surveillance and to collect information.”
“(The) modus operandi will also help ease traffic congestion by giving proper instruction to motorists in times of heavy traffic blocks monitored under this operation,” the statement further said.
It is unclear what type of information the police will be gathering and how that information will be used.
The project was a collaboration between the police department and several other institutions, including Sri Lanka Telecom, the Ceylon Electricity Board, the University of Moratuwa, Metropolitan Company and the Colombo Municipal Council.