ISLAMABAD: In a bid to make Islamabad “one of the safest cities” in Pakistan, the federal government has decided to install additional cameras in the capital to expand coverage of the Safe City Project from 30pc to 100pc during the current fiscal year.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said at present, the safe city project covered at least 30pc area of Islamabad but after the installation of additional cameras the coverage would be extended to the entire city.
Mr Sanaullah said more cameras would be installed at “all important places” and added that immediate funds to the tune of Rs40 million had been issued to the Safe City Authority to meet its urgent needs.
According to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, the Islamabad police chief and the director general of the Safe City Authority have been directed to prepare a feasibility report for the expansion of the project.
Govt plans 100-bed hospital for capital police; cameras at police stations to monitor officials
After completion of the feasibility report, funds would be released for the project within one week, the minister said, without elaborating on the amount needed to expand the project.
Informed sources told Dawn that the capital police had been seeking an increase in the number of CCTV cameras and manpower for the Safe City Project for quite some time. They said officials of the Islamabad Safe City Project had suggested installation of 4,000 more cameras in the city.
“Since the launch of the Safe City Project years ago, Islamabad has undergone rapid expansion in terms of area and population,” the officials said, adding that at present 1,905 cameras were installed in different areas of the capital.
Initially, the Safe City Project had been providing assistance to the police in tracing and identifying the culprits at the request of the operation division and investigation wing.
However, its role was enhanced when its officials were told to assist the capital police in curbing the crime rate.
End to police torture
Rana Sanaullah said the government would take measures to end “police culture” in the federal capital and install cameras at police stations to ensure accountability in the police department.
“No one would be allowed to resort to torture in the police stations nor would it be tolerated,” the interior minister warned during the press conference.
He further revealed that the government would set up a 100-bed hospital for the Islamabad police at an estimated cost of Rs5 billion.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would lay the foundation of the hospital later this month for which an amount of Rs300 million has already been released, he said, adding that all efforts would be made to complete the project during the current fiscal year.
Moreover, the minister said the government also fulfilled a longstanding demand of the Islamabad police and their salaries and other perks and privileges had been brought at par with the Punjab police which had a financial implication of Rs738 million.
He said the government also accepted a demand of the Frontier Constabulary and brought their salaries at par with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police along with an increase in their ration allowance and added that the move had a financial impact of Rs1.5 billion.
The government also arranged funds to the tune of Rs667 million to equip the paramilitary force with the anti-riot gear, he said, adding that at least 2,000 personnel would be imparted anti-riot training as well.
Mr Sanaullah also promised that payments of Rs1.2bn to the families of martyrs, pending for the past four years, would be disbursed at the earliest.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2022