Thursday, 6 May 2010

Camera installation is running behind schedule

Even as the capital continues to be on terror radar, Delhi Police has not shown any urgency in installing close circuit television (CCTV) cameras — crucial for tracking suspect movements — at vulnerable market places and easily penetrable border check posts ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The laxity has earned Delhi Police the wrath of a parliamentary standing committee, which criticised it for under-utilization of funds meant for CCTV installation at 58 markets and 27 border check posts. As of now, the cameras have been fitted only at Khan Market and Ghazipur border. According to sources, Delhi Police has used only Rs 10.63 crore of the Rs 40 crore allocated for the CCTV project in the last two years.

The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, headed by M Venkaiah Naidu, has expressed "great concern" over the delay and found "serious lacuna" in the implementation of funds allotted for modernizing of traffic and communication network.

The work was supposed to be completed by March 31, 2010 but according to the standing committee report, MHA has informed it that the work will be completed by June 30. Installation, commission and testing of Wide Area Network (WAN) will continue till September 3, said the report. The Delhi Police last year had claimed that it was installing WAN-enabled cyber highway for interlinking of police exchanges, police stations, kiosks, police and district headquarters.

However, Delhi cops blame the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) for the delay. "We have made advance payments to various agencies but work has not started so far. ECIL was roped in by MHA but the agency has not been able to complete the work," said a senior police officer.

ACP Rajan Bhagat said Delhi Police has not reviewed the comment as yet and would abide by the suggestions of the committee.

When contacted, MHA officials refused to comment but sources told Times City that process of allocating work to bidders is being reviewed. ECIL is handling most of the CCTV installation work," said an MHA official. The Delhi Police claimed that the payment for Khan Market and Ghazipur projects were made in 2008 and 2009.

"Now MHA is handling all the work. The tender was given to ECIL. We make payments to the vendor on the direction of MHA and after submission of a work clearance and inspection certificate from MHA,” added an officer.


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