Murad calls for speedy measures to implement Safe City project

Updated 25 Oct 2020

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presides over a high-level meeting on law and order at CM House on Saturday. — Photo courtesy CM House Twitter
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presides over a high-level meeting on law and order at CM House on Saturday. — Photo courtesy CM House Twitter

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday decided to gear up implementation of the Safe City project to improve security, safety and quality of life in Karachi and convened an important meeting next week to approve its different components.

He took this decision while presiding over a high-level meeting on law and order here at CM House.

The meeting was attended by IT Minister Taimur Talpur, CM’s Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Humayun Aziz, Director General of Rangers Major General Omer Bukhari, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar and other senior police officers.

10,000 surveillance cameras to be installed in Karachi as part of the project

The chief minister said that overall law and order situation in the city had improved considerably, which could be assessed from the fact that in 2014 Karachi ranked at number six in the World Crime Index (WCI) and now it’s ranked at 103.

The chief minister said that the city could be made safer and more secure if the Safe City project was implemented at the earliest.

Project cost doubled in nine years

The Safe City project was conceived in 2011 and was planned to install high-powered 10,000 CCTV cameras in the city in the first phase. The chief minister had approved Rs10 billion for the purpose but the project cost was said to be escalated to around Rs20bn.

Mr Shah said that the security, safety and quality of life could be improved in the city with the help of latest technology.

He directed the police department to install 10,000 cameras at different spots, including red zone and problematic areas in terms of criminal activities.

The IGP, sharing crime situation data, said that total 423 killings were reported in 2019 in the city while in 2020 it was recorded at 414, which showed a difference of nine cases.

He said that 12 targeted killing cases were registered in 2019 and in 2020 during the same period, eight cases were reported that showed a reduction of four cases.

IG Mahar said that cases of kidnapping for ransom were recorded at 31 in 2019 and 29 in 2020, extortion cases were 107 in 2019 and 116 in 2020 showing an increase of nine cases.

He said that house robberies were 242 in 2019 and 200 in 2020. “In 2019, 1,404 four-wheelers were snatched and the number came down by 49 in 2020 when 1,355 snatching cases were recorded,” he added.

According to the IGP, the two-wheelers snatched in 2019 were 23,141 which increased in 2020 by 5,264 cases.

In 2019, 15,058 mobile phones were snatched and the figure went up to 16,765 this year so far.

The chief minister directed the IGP to develop a mobile application on which complainants of mobile phone, car, bike and other snatching and robberies’ complaints could be filed at once without visiting the police station.

“This will help the police to activate their force all over the city to arrest the criminals,” he said.

Operation against dacoits in katcha area

The chief minister lauded an operation against dacoits in the katcha area of Khairpur and Larkana.

The IGP said that the operation was launched in Baradi Jatoi within the jurisdiction of Khairpur and Larkana police. Six notorious dacoits were killed, including Pathan alias Patho Narejo and Iqbal alias Iqoo Narejo who had Rs2 million each head money.

He said that the police recovered one anti-aircraft gun, two G-3 rifles, one SMG, one rocket launcher with shells and huge amounts of ammunition.

At this, Corps Commander Aziz said that he would get the recovered anti-aircraft gun and other weapons examined by military experts just to ascertain from where the dacoits got them.

The chief minister said that he had appreciated the SSP-Khairpur for launching a successful operation.

The meeting was informed that during 8,081 raids on drug dens 12,788 suspects were arrested in 2020.

The police recovered 7,173.959kg of charas, 62.178kg heroin, 23.20 ‘ice’, 170.288kg opium and 195,606 litres of liquor. The police also arrested 6,383 accused for manufacturing gutka and mainpuri and confiscated 625,153kg gutka and mainpuri and sealed 66 manufacturing units.

Meeting with clerics

CM Shah met with leading ulema to discuss and finalise the arrangements for the forthcoming Rabiul Awwal processions.

The meeting, held here at the CM House, was attended by provincial minister Saeed Ghani, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Special Assistant Waqar Mehdi, Administrator Iftikhar Shallwani, Commissioner Sohail Rajput and others.

The ulema who attended the meeting included Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Pir Syed Muzaffar Shah, Mufti Nazeer Jaan Naeemi, Allama Ashraf Gormani, Shah Abdul Haq Qadri, Maulana Saleem Attari, Haji Hanif Tayyab, Shabbir Qazi and others.

“On the eve of 12 Rabiul Awwal, we must spread the message of love, fraternity, brotherhood and respect for each other,” the CM said.

The CM lauded the efforts of the ulema of different schools of thought for strengthening sectarian harmony and brotherhood in the province.

He said that he had already given instructions to the administration to provide all the necessary facilities along the route of the processions all over the province.

“I have also given instruction to KE and other power distribution companies to ensure power supply on the eve of Rabiul Awwal processions and mahafil,” he said.

Mr Shah said that he had already discussed and finalised security arrangements.

He also directed the KMC, all deputy commissioners, water board and district council to improve their services.

He also announced that a milad would be organised at the CM House shortly.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2020