KARACHI: The Sindh government announced an ambitious plan to make Karachi a ‘smart city’ by installing innovative solar street lights, closed-circuit television cameras as well as providing “free” Wi-Fi facilities this year.
According to a statement, Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Sharjeel Inaam Memon signed a memorandum of understanding with three companies of United Arab Emirates, China and the United States to install the technology in Karachi.
The first phase of the project is to be completed by this year.
In the first phase, Sharjeel added, modern solar street lights, free Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras will be installed from Do-Talwar Clifton to Shara-e-Faisal within the stipulated time and will cost the provincial government up to $20 million out of a total investment of $200 million.
“I am committed to making Karachi smart and turning it into the city of lights,” Memon said in a statement issued from Dubai, adding that a number of international companies were willing to invest in Sindh and Karachi.
Among others, the US-based Rick David and Company has also shown interest in investing in the project of installing CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi for the common people in the metropolis.
The CCTV camera recordings will run 24 hours and free Wi-Fi will record complete activities assisting the security agencies to track criminal activities in the city. “The free Wi-Fi and CCTV camera will be installed on every street and road.
The provincial minister said that internet devices will be connected so that people can use the internet facility from Sharah-e-Faisal to Clifton Do Talwar, as well as other parts of the city.
Memon said that it is the Pakistan Peoples Party's young leadership’s vision to provide latest facilities to the public at their doorstep.
“After this MoU, we will work on solar energy in order to overcome the energy crisis,” he said.
Referring to the Karachi law and order, he said that the provincial government was serious in taking concrete steps to wipe out all kind of criminal activities from Karachi. “Terrorism, street crime, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and other kind of criminal activities have now come to an end with the ongoing operation carried out by police and Rangers in the city,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.