Installation of security cameras at minorities’ worship places to begin in December, Sindh Assembly told

Updated November 02, 2019

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Installation of security cameras delayed as survey was completed in eight months, says provincial minister. — Reuters/File
Installation of security cameras delayed as survey was completed in eight months, says provincial minister. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was informed on Friday that installation of security surveillance cameras at worship places of minorities across the province would start in December.

While furnishing a statement and replying to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries on behalf of the information, science and technology minister during Question Hour in the house, Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that a list of 500 worship places of the minorities was prepared after carrying out a survey in the province.

He said the work on the Rs4.87 million project was under way for the past two years and the contract for installation of security surveillance cameras was being awarded to the National Radio & Telecom­munication Corporation (NRTC).

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf member Adeeba Hassan had asked the minister about the projects executed by the information technology department during 2017 and 2018.

He said the installation of security cameras at the worship places of minorities was delayed as the survey was completed in eight months.

Mr Chawla told the lawmakers that the IT department had executed 10 different projects and an amount of Rs110.622m was spent on them.

To a verbal question, he said that two projects — E-portal for all provincial departments (websites for all departments) and an information & computing technology system at Cadet College Larkana — had been completed while the work on remaining eight projects was under way.

To another question, the minister said that an FM radio station was introduced and established by the IT department for the provincial police at 88.60 MHz. “The FM radio was later handed over to the Sindh police in 2012 and now the police department [is] responsible for its operation and maintenance,” he added.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani suggested to the minister that there should also be an FM radio station of the provincial assembly.

In reply to a question, Mr Chawla said the IT department had also introduced a prison management system titled ‘Introduction of e-Policing System in Sindh’ in 2012 and later it was handed over to the prison department after its deployment. “Currently, it is operational at the prison department which is maintaining it,” he added.

In reply to a query by MPA Sadia Jawed, the minister said that a phase-wise development programme of management and quality assurance had been started by the IT department in consultation with IBA Karachi to enhance the capacity of the provincial government employees.

He explained that the purpose of the project was to provide IT training to enhance capacity-building of the existing employees of Sindh Secretariat to improve the management level of their offices. “The quality can be easily assured for relevant practices of trainees,” he said.

To a verbal question, he said the project was launched in 2018 and would be completed in 2020. He said that as many as 1,100 provincial government employees were registered in the programme and of them 425 were so far trained.

In reply to a question by PTI member Rabia Azfar Nizamani about the measures for safeguarding intellectual property, Mr Chawla said the IT department was not a regulatory department for intellectual property. “The matter pertains to [a] federal legal subject and there is a separate central body namely Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan” to look after this issue, he added.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2019