KOCHI: With border check posts having been removed following the introduction of Goods and Services Tax,the Kerala Government has decided to install Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at 14 entry points in the state’s seven districts to curb smuggling of narcotic products. Cameras will be installed at Excise check posts at Amaravila, Attupuram, Pirayinmoodu, Kallikadu, Aryankavu, Kumali, Velanthavalam, Gopalapuram, Govindapuram, Meenakshipuram, Walayar, Muthanga, Kootupuzha and Manjeswaram.
A top official at the Excise Commissioner Office in Thiruvananthapuram told Express the state government had allocated Rs 1 crore for the project.“The CCTV cameras will be used to monitor passing vehicles and help in the investigation of various narcotic cases, in which banned substances are brought by road from other states,” the official said. “We’re looking to complete the tender proceedings in a month’s time. As per the requirements, we’ve sought the installation of high-resolution bullet and pan-tilt-zoom cameras, which can deliver video footage, even those at night,” said the official.
According to officials, the inputs from the cameras at check posts can be viewed directly at the offices of Excise Commissioner, Additional Excise Commissioner(both enforcement and administration), Joint Excise Commissioner, Deputy Excise Commissioner and Circle Inspectors concerned.
Following the increase in number of narcotic cases, central agencies like the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had recommended monitoring at border posts using CCTV cameras.
There has been a rise in the number of narcotic-substance abuse and seizure cases over the years in Kerala. Last year, the state was second behind Punjab in the number of narcotic cases reported. Majority of the substances are smuggled into the state from Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal via road and rail routes.