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Delhi government panel says ‘OK’ to phase II of the CCTV project

Second phase of the CCTV project gets a nod. Soon to be started in the national capital

More CCTV cameras to be set up across the city after installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in phase I

NEW DELHI: Delhi government’s Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has given its nod for the initiation of the second phase of the CCTV project. Under this project, 1.4 lakh more cameras will be installed in different parts of the city. The cost of this project is estimated to reach 613.5 crores.

The state government decided to install the additional cameras. The discovered that the 1.4 lakh CCTVs installed in the first phase at the cost of 571 crores weren’t enough to cover all key areas in colonies and markets.

Differences between the bureaucracy and the government made its mark on the clearance for the second phase of the project. The planning and finance departments wanted an evaluation study to measure the outcome of the first phase. These were to be based on the experiences of the stakeholders.

‘The evaluation would have included merits, challenges and effectiveness of the project. These are yet to be worked out by the public works department,” sources said.

The administrative department echoed similar opinion. The bureaucrats have based their opinions on the directions given by EFC when the phase I was under consideration.

The finance department of Delhi government had further observations. Only a detailed project report and scientific approach could determine the number of cameras required for effective coverage. It felt that breaking the project into many phases breaks the scale of economy in procurement and operational expenditure. Additionally, it would lead to different tenders/vendors doing the same work at different cost, different operational efficiency and issues of intra-vendor coordination.

For addressing the issues highlighted during the first phase of the project, preparation of a detailed project report and expert consultation was suggested.

Delhi deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, who chaired the EFC meeting, pointed out that the recommendations of the principal secretary (PWD) could not be considered because he had not visited the sites and was not aware of feedback from the public. He said that the public at large was very happy and had welcomed the installation of CCTV cameras, which made them feel secure. The government also pointed out that the footage of the CCTV cameras had provided clues, leading to the solving of a few cases of car theft.

2,000 cameras in one assembly constituency hardly covered the entry and exit points of residential colonies. Most of the boundary and periphery was left uncovered as well. This is what prompted the AAP government to install 4,000 cameras in each constituency.

“Keeping in view the time already taken in the decision-making process under first phase of the project, the proposal (of second phase) needs no further evaluation. It has to be expedited to get meaningful results and to achieve the desired objective of crime reduction and women’s safety,” Delhi PWD minister Satyendra Jain observed.

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