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TIA enhances CCTV storage capacity to 61 Days in response to surveillance concerns

KATHMANDU: In a proactive move to address concerns raised by the Department of Customs (DoC) and other stakeholders, the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) administration has announced a significant upgrade to its Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) infrastructure, extending the storage capacity from 21 days to 61 days.

TIA General Manager Pratap Babu Tiwari revealed that, until recently, 500 CCTV cameras within the airport had varying storage capacities, with some limited to only 21 days.

This raised concerns, particularly after reports emerged of a 21-day gap in CCTV footage availability. To rectify this, the airport administration installed 36 hard disks, each with a capacity of 16 terabytes, boosting the maximum storage duration to 61 days.

The decision to augment the storage capacity was reached during a stakeholder meeting held on October 14, 2023, reflecting a collaborative effort to enhance security and operational efficiency at Nepal’s premier international airport.

Tiwari highlighted that the initial storage capacity was a maximum of 29 days, and the extended duration will significantly contribute to ongoing surveillance efforts. He noted that the request for a budget to upgrade storage capacity had been made in the fiscal year 2021/22, but budgetary constraints, attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, led to the delay in implementation.

While the TIA administration oversees the installation of CCTV cameras, the Nepal Police is responsible for their operation and surveillance activities. Tiwari reassured that the airport administration has cooperated fully with the Department of Customs, providing requested information to the best of their ability.

Previously, the DoC had reported a lack of CCTV footage older than 21 days, prompting the need for this infrastructure upgrade.

Tiwari emphasized the complex nature of operations at TIA, with over 170 agencies functioning within the airport premises, underscoring the importance of robust surveillance capabilities to ensure the safety and security of passengers and cargo.

This enhancement in CCTV storage capacity reflects TIA’s commitment to addressing concerns, maintaining transparency, and fostering a secure environment at one of South Asia’s busiest international airports.

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