In a controversial move, the Home Ministry has asked seven cities including Delhi and Mumbai to deploy choppers, unmanned aerial vehicles and balloons to keep an eye from the sky on its residents.
The advice is part of a 10-point guideline drawn up by the home ministry to help the megacities under its Safe City project.
“It is very essential to have surveillance from air with regard to law and order and other crime related activities,” the home ministry guideline said. It did not clarify if it wanted these devices — that will not stop at taking pictures but could also eavesdrop — to keep constant surveillance.
Some police officers suggest that the first priority of the forces should be to have adequate basic facilities such as patrol cars — 370 were quickly bought after last year’s December gangrape
A home ministry official agreed, pointing that the aerial surveillance had to be looked at in context of the 10 point guidelines and not individually.
Apart from more CCTVs and high-tech control rooms, the Safe City guidelines also advice cities to revamp police stations to have a hall for police-community interaction, and ensure that 30% of police personnel were women.