ISLAMABAD: The much-delayed Islamabad Safe City Project costing the national exchequer $125 million or over Rs13 billion, was inaugurated on Monday.
The project aims at making the capital “free of crime”.
Under the project, over 1,900 surveillance cameras have been installed across the city with a command and control centre set up in Sector H-11 to monitor important buildings, entry and exit points, roads, commercial centres and a sizable portion of residential areas.
“Although a huge amount has been spent on the project, I will only be satisfied when the crime rate is brought to zero level,” , Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
The minister, who inaugurated the project along with Chinese ambassador, said that the project was the beginning of a new era.
He said that the police personnel who worked on the project must have patience as their (service) time spent on the project would be taken as an addition to their existing service and it will not impact their seniority.
“This is true policing as police personnel may not be deployed at every corner of the city but with the help of cameras, every spot will be monitored”.
Nisar said that just instaling cameras will not serve any purpose unless those who were monitoring them did their best. He said that the security of the city and that of the country was linked to the project.
“These cameras are not mere digital equipment but they may also be used as weapons. These will also help detect vehicle theft, robberies and other crimes.”
He added that the police may use them to have an eye on unwanted elements so that the citizen may have peace at their homes.
He also thanked the Chinese ambassador for his cooperation in completion of the project.
The minister said that the project would be extended to other cities the later stage.
He said that after consultation with a Chinese company and officials the company enhanced the number of cameras from 1,500 to 1,945 on the same old price. He said the company also agreed to improve the software and included more equipment to the project.
He said another memorandum of understanding was being signed with Chinese Huawei company for the training of around 1,000 personnel of Pakistan police and other departments.
Later talking to the media, Nisar said that 95 per cent of cameras were working and only five per cent were out of order due to non-availability of electricity connection or some other reasons.
Police recruits passed out
The minister while addressing a passing out ceremony of 480 recruits said that the police had been depoliticised.
He said that all the recruits were inducted on merit.
He said he will himself monitor the performance of the recruits.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2016.