Wake up call for Punjab

Taking stock of a two-year-old safe city project

yogesh

Yogesh Rajput | September 28, 2015


#CCTV cameras   #CCTV   #PricewaterhouseCoopers   #PwC  

In March 2013, the Punjab government announced the launch of centre-sponsored ‘safe city’ project and chose Amritsar and Ludhiana as the beneficiaries. In the proposed project, CCTV cameras were to be installed at all major spots, which were vulnerable to criminal activities at an estimated cost of Rs 135 crore.

Enthused, the Punjab police started its research work and mapped the area for camera installation and network plan. The police, in collaboration with private consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), even made a ‘request for proposal’ (RFP) to invite competent bidders offering a comprehensive safe city solution comprising of command and control solution, CCTV surveillance system, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) solution, and mobile surveillance vehicle.

It has been more than two years but the project is yet to see light of the day. Considering the recent Gurdaspur terror attack on July 27 the project needs a serious re-consideration. Before the terrorists indiscriminately opened fire at Dinanagar police station, their image in army fatigues with rifles was captured by a CCTV camera. The wake-up call, on the need for CCTV surveillance, became all the more alarming after it was found that the camera was installed by a private shop owner and not by the state government.

The ministry of home affairs (MHA), in 2013, had launched its flagship ‘safe city’ project, asking major metro cities to focus on technological advancement in their police force. Even though police and public order are state subjects, the MHA decided to support the state governments by providing them financial assistance and equipping them with the latest technology.

As per the MHA, the aim of the project was to have “the best combination of man and machine, which can deliver the goods in the present context of the multifaceted challenges faced by the police”. In its set of guidelines for the cities, the ministry clearly stated that a wide network of CCTV surveillance was a key component of the project. Special attention was also given to command control centre, a network which would enable collection of feeds from CCTVs and have the capacity to store, analyse and disseminate them, when required. The centre was to also have GIS facility to know the exact location of a source from where data comes to the centre. Aerial surveillance, in the form of unmanned aerial vehicle, was also recommended by the MHA as part of the project. Punjab, however, failed miserably in implementing this project.

The Punjab police blame lack of funds to be the cause for stagnation of the project. Sources in the department say that the police was not even able to pay the fee of PwC consultants for their services for nearly six months, the issue which apparently has still not been resolved.
Though at the time of announcement, the Punjab government projected a cost of Rs 135 crore, upon making its own assessments the Punjab police had different figures. As per the estimate, the total cost for the project in Amritsar came to be nearly Rs 127 crore, while for Ludhiana it was about Rs 145 crore. Senior police officials say that the planning phase of the project was complete from their end, but there was no progress in the execution of the project due to lack of funds. Punjab, which desperately needs CCTV surveillance for the entire state, as of now, has not even been able to take off its pilot projects in Amritsar and Ludhiana.

Comments

 

Other News

Mumbai Development Plan annoys activists and experts

Approximately one-eighth of Mumbai’s existing landmass is proposed to be added for development works, especially for housing of low income groups. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis gave green signal to the 2034 development plan that will make more land available by adding over 3,650 he

My musical journey has been really beautiful: Harshdeep Kaur

Harshdeep Kaur is a playback singer better known for her Sufi renditions. She sings Hindi as well as Punjabi. She sang ‘Ik Onkar’ in Rang De Basanti apart from several other soulful songs. Her track ‘R.I.P.’ composed by AR Rahman was part of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s film

BJP lawmakers top the list in hate speech cases

Out of all MPs and MLAs in office, 58 have declared cases related to hate speech. This includes union minister for drinking water and sanitation Uma Bharti along with 14 other Lok Sabha MPs. The list also includes 8 state ministers. A party wise analysis reveals that BJP has the highest numb

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

Togadia, Sinha and anti-Modi prejudices masked by empty rhetoric

There is an uncanny similarity in the pathological opposition to prime minister Narendra Modi by two members of the right wing, Pravin Togadia and Yashwant Sinha. They come from a diverse social and political background; yet they share a common strand that shows an unmitigated hatred towards

“We are becoming American digital colonies”

Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles o

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter