Security cameras are here

13 Mar 2012

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ISLAMABAD, March 12: The government has finalised its much-awaited plan to install security cameras in Islamabad from next month to keep a vigil on suspects and prevent terrorism, a senior government official told Dawn .

The decision was approved in a meeting held in the Ministry of Interior on Monday.

"Under the plan, more than 200 cameras will be installed in the city," said Capital Development Authority (CDA)'s member engineering Sanaullah Aman after attending the meeting.

The meeting, which was chaired by Secretary Interior Khwaja M. Sidiq Akber, was attended by officials of the CDA, capital police, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the district administration of Islamabad.

The cameras are being installed under the government's Safe City Project that envisaged introduction of high-powered scanners and CCTV cameras in the city.

"The meeting decided that the project starting in April this year will be completed in 2015," the official said.

The meeting was told that the project would cost Rs300 million but it seemed quite 'underestimated', because under the plan a huge complex would also be constructed in Sector H-11 for the setting up of a centralised control room.

An official of the interior ministry said the security cameras would be installed at all the entry and exit points of the city, commercial centres, traffic signals and some other locations.

He said assistance of a Chinese firm had been sought for purchase and fixing of the cameras as well as establishment of the centralised control room.

The official said the control room would be linked with all the police stations in Islamabad to relay any information regarding suspects, so that prompt action could be taken to apprehend them.

In order to make the project a success, assistance of Nadra is also being taken which will help the monitoring authority in tracing the suspects if they were registered in the national database. "Nadra has the facility to trace any suspect through their photograph if they have got the computerised national identity cards," officials said.

The interior ministry had made several attempts in the past to execute the project but without success due to several reasons, including financial constraints.

Almost all the modern capitals and cities in the world have a centralised camera-based system security.