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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday said the government had sought assistance from the Scotland Yard to implement the Safe City Project (SCP) in Islamabad.

Speaking at a briefing on the project at the Capital Command Centre (CCC), the minister said a request had been made to the British High Commissioner in Islamabad to arrange a team of the Scotland Yard dealing with the same project in London to examine the SCP and give suggestions.

“Their assistance will be taken for the installation of the security cameras, how to cover the whole Islamabad, the response time of the officials to reach a spot and training of the workforce.”

The minister said suggestions had also been obtained from a British consultant affiliated with the Scotland Yard and the Hong Kong police though the SCP was being executed by a Chinese company.

Interior minister has been informed that 1,500 cameras have been installed in the city

Mr Khan said doing legislation on the SCP was also being considered to protect the installations and equipment, including cameras and the power supply system.

During the briefing, the minister was informed that 1,500 cameras had already been installed in the city while spots identified for the fixing of the remaining 450 cameras, including 87 at Murree Road.

However, out of the installed cameras, only 240 were operational.

The minister was informed about the delay to make the installed cameras operational, adding transformers were required near the cameras to keep them functional round the clock. The minister asked the project officers to approach Iesco to resolve the matter and install the remaining cameras by December 10.

He also directed Senior Superintendent of Police (security) Mir Waiz Niaz to ensure the installation of the cameras at all the entry and exit points. He asked the police to block all the unmetaled link roads to avoid the entry of vehicles from there.

There are 162 entry points in the capital - 92 metaled and 72 unmetaled.

The minister said the project was initiated by the previous government at a cost of $125 million. In 2012, an amount of $68 million was released for the project.

There were several reservations over the project when it was started, including its cost, outdated technology and reservations from the Supreme Court.

However, the minister said his ministry satisfied the SC over the project and also renegotiated with the executor of the project for installing new and modern technology at the same cost.

He added that the executor would take care of the project for one year but it was yet to be decided who would be looking after the project after the completion of the period.

The minister requested the representative of the executing company for assistance and support for at least five years.

The minister was informed that monitors had been installed at the control room. Each of the monitors recorded the visual of eight to 32 cameras at a time.

A space was available to keep the recording of 30 days in the control room. Besides, additional space would be arranged to store more visuals.

Around 29 officials were working at the command centre. The minister said he would talk to the prime minister for an attractive salary package for the officials working at the CCC who came from different departments such as the police, capital administration and Nadra.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2015

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