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Make security zones for safer Bangalore: panel

india Updated: Feb 02, 2009 09:54 IST

IANS
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India's tech hub should be divided into six special security zones and community policing introduced to make it a safer place, says a Karnataka government-appointed panel.

The panel - ABIDe or Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force - was set up in August last year. Its documents were released on Jan 20 for public discussion.

"Bangalore has already come under terror attacks in the recent past. The crime graph in the city too is rising fast," Rajeev Chandrashekhar, convenor of the task force, told IANS.

"To provide safety and security to our citizens, it has become mandatory to draw a proper draft to ensure the best security system in the city. ABIDe attempts to look into various aspects of the city so that it could be guarded adequately," he said. Chandrashekhar is a parliament member from Karnataka and president of industrial lobby FICCI.

The panel wants city police to be given the latest gadgets to tackle a rising crime graph. It calls for an end to political interference in the working of the police. Besides upgrading police intelligence, it suggests better communication between state and central intelligence agencies.

"The draft mostly stresses the need to provide our security personnel with the latest technology, efficient communication facilities and division of work for all of them," said S Nandeesh, secretary, ABIDe.

The task force's members include several state ministers, representatives of NGOs, industry, experts in town planning, security and traffic. Among the members are Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon and heart specialist Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya.

The ABIDe task force has released an action plan on four subjects - Govern Bengaluru, Road Traffic Management and Transportation, Urban Poor, and Secure Bengaluru - for the public to offer suggestions.

The task force has formulated its plan for a secure Bangalore in the backdrop of the Mumbai terror attacks. Also, the city saw around 20 murders last month alone. Cases of burglary have increased manifold.

The city of eight million faced its first major terror strike when the sprawling, leafy Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was attacked in December 2005, leaving one dead and four injured.

In the second attack in July last year, a series of eight low-intensity explosions hit the city, killing one woman and injuring 15.

The draft suggests computerisation of Road Transport Offices (RTO), strengthening of the state-wide police wireless network, introduction of state law against terror acts, arming the private security personnel and giving them training under state police force, and motivating the police force by giving better housing facilities and other perks.

ABIDe makes special mention of stepping up coastal security. Though Karnataka has an over 300 km-long coastline, there are only five coastal security police stations - in Mangalore, Malpe, Bhatkal, Sirsi and Karwar.

"The suggestions in the draft are of immense value. The measures would surely help in bringing down the crime graph in the city," MR Pujar, additional commissioner of police, Bangalore city (Law and Order), told IANS.