KARACHI: In an effort to control the widespread practice of extortion, the government has decided to install 300 security cameras along II Chundrigar Road, covering the Karachi Stock Exchange, head offices of multinational companies, and the seven industrial zones of the city.
A meeting was held in this regard which was presided over by the Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui on Saturday. Karachi additional commissioner Haji Ahmed, Inspector General of Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch, Ranger officials and heads of several banks and financial institutions also attended the meeting.
The commissioner said that Pakistan’s Wall Street would be made a role model in terms of security and vigilance as they plan to install a modern security system with surveillance cameras, which would be connected to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the Central Police Office (CPO) control room.
He said that the alarm systems of private companies will be linked with the CPO control room so that security agencies are able to respond immediately. Maintenance of law and order situation is the responsibility of the police but the commissioner office is ready to extend full cooperation to the security personnel to help maintain the confidence level of the business community, he added.
“There is a definite spike in extortion activity ahead of Ramazan and Eid and the business community finds itself helpless against the different criminal gangs,” said Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Haroon Agar.
Agar, one of the participants, said that the project would cost over Rs300 million and they have also suggested constituing a ‘Rapid Deployment Force’ for II Chundrigar Road. The seven industrial zones include Korangi, SITE, Federal B Area, New Karachi Industrial Area and Landhi Industrial Area, among others.
Following an attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar, the government has also sent over 150 faulty CCTV cameras installed at different points, especially the one in the red zone, for repairs.
No cameras were found functional when Justice Baqar was attacked on his way to the high court on June 26. Over three dozen CCTV cameras have already been installed near important mosques and shopping plazas.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.