KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday directed the Planning and Development Board (PDB) to prepare PC-1 of the Safe City project on war footings so that bids could be invited for its physical launch within the next four months.

“We are already late in implementing the project and now I won’t allow any more unnecessary delay,” he said while presiding over a meeting held to review the progress on the Safe City project here at the CM House.

The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister Taimur Talpur, CM’s Special Assistant on IT Ms Tanzila, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, PDB Chairman Hassan Naqvi, Karachi Additional IG Ghulam Nabi Memon, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, Finance Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, Sindh Safe City Authority Director General DIG Maqsood Memon and other concerned.

DIG Memon said the authority was established in January 2022 to implement safe city projects all over Sindh, but in the first phase, work in Karachi was under process.

He said that under the plan, 10,000 new CCTV cameras would be installed at 2,000 spots/ points in three phases apart from upgrading the existing 2,000 cameras as per safe/smart city specification.

He said the cost of the project as per the consultant was estimated over Rs27 billion in which all the aspects were not covered, adding that the consultant had already been asked to submit a detailed proposal. “Meanwhile, the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the provincial government, submitted a proposal of Rs29 billion as an estimated cost of the project,” he added.

The CM directed the authority DG to upgrade the existing cameras within six months for which he approved an amount of Rs1 billion. He also approved a proposal to hand over the 2,000 cameras from Sindh police to the Safe City Authority so that they could be upgraded, operated, and maintained. Mr Shah also directed the P&D department and authority to revive the US-sponsored project under which 3,000 new cameras were to be installed in the city.

A company, INL of the US, had approved a $20 million donation to install 3,000 cameras in the city as first phase of the Safe City project.

The CM said that if the INL project of 3000 cameras had been launched and 2,000 cameras had been already functioning, the city would have a network of 5,000 cameras within a year.

He also directed the P&D department to prepare and approve PC-1 of the Safe City project on fast track so that work on the plan could be started within next four years. “I want installation of all the remaining 7,000 cameras ready and functional within next two years,” the CM issued directives.

The meeting also decided to establish a 15- story building to house the Central Command Centre and a five-story building for the Regional Command Center along with a residential tower at Hassan Square.

DIG Maqsood Memon told the CM that almost all the roads of the city would be dug up to lay the fiber optic cables and it might take time to seek permission from the concerned utility agencies.

The CM directed the chief secretary to talk to the PTCL and such other organisations in that connection.

Mr Shah on the proposal of the home department and the Safe City Authority approved installation of 3,000 new cameras as the first phase with an estimated cost of Rs4 billion, directing the authority to complete the phase within a year.

Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022

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