Seethammal Colony Resident Association’s (SCRA) brought their neighbourhood under CCTV surveillance less than a month ago, and the police have already brought a chain-snatcher to book a day after an incident in the neighbourhood, with the help of CCTV footage. The chain-snatcher had tried to rob a woman at the junction of Seethammal Colony Main Road and the 1st Main Road.
The CCTV system was set up in the third week of June and the chain-snatching incident happened almost immediately after the installation — on June 23. We submitted the image grabs to the police the same day and the police tracked the chain-snatcher and apprehended him within 24 hours.
The Seethammal Colony Resident Association in Alwarpet, which was first formed 50 years ago, was recently revived with the appointment of a core committee and other office-bearers. On July 13, the CCTV system was formally inaugurated by the Chennai City Commissioner of Police A.K. Viswanathan.
The residents, in an effort to understand how the surveillance system works, met Assistant Commissioner of Police Govindaraj and M.C. Ramesh, Inspector of E3 Police Station Teynampet, in April this year.
Subsequently, 35 CCTV cameras along with the required cabling, DVR/NVR boxes, storage and monitors were procured and installed in the neighbourhood. The Association spent nearly ₹6.5 lakh which was raised through contributions from residents.
Each camera pole will carry a banner notifying the presence of CCTV surveillance in the colony. It will also announce the fact that the initiative is in collaboration with the E3 police station. The NVRs/DVRs also have been installed strategically and enabled for access on mobile platforms via WiFi.
The Association also plans to work closely with the Traffic Police to make the streets traffic- and pedestrian-friendly. We have proposed that all the streets be allowed parking on one side of the roads so that there is enough carriageway for vehicles to move freely.
There is significant progress in individual and collective efforts in plastic waste management and composting of wet waste, and the Association plans to become a zero-waste community in the near future.
Given the water crisis, residents of individual houses and flats have taken efforts to recharge existing wells and create additional recharge systems.
The Association is in the process of identifying and creating rainwater harvesting structures and recharge wells across the Colony, with the support of Mylapore MLA R. Nataraj and in collaboration with the Greater Chennai Corporation.
The newly-elected office-bearers of SCRA are: A. Sridharan, president; R. Velayutham, vice-president; R. Srikanth, treasurer; and Suresh Krishnaswamy, secretary.
Seethammal Colony Resident Association