Four months after a blast outside the Delhi High Court last year reiterated the need for an efficient, centrally monitored electronic surveillance system in the city, the Delhi Police claims it is ready to deliver on a promise it made almost two years ago.
According to sources, the police are waiting for a nod from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to acquire special, mega-pixel specification surveillance cameras at 24 markets and at least 10 more border check posts.
"This is phase II of our surveillance project and will bring almost all popular market areas and crucial border check posts under surveillance. These will be subsequently connected to the C4i Centre at our headquarters and be monitored round the clock," said a senior police officer.
The Delhi Police were supposed to have 58 markets and 27 border check-posts under watchful, electronic eyes by March 31, 2010, that is three months before the Commonwealth Games held in October.
However, long-drawn tendering processes and stingy sanctions from the ministry, sources claimed, had forced the police to relegate the installation of CCTVs on the backburner.
"We could only bring 34 markets and 10 border areas under surveillance. Out of these, only 25 markets and two border check points, Ghazipur and Singhu Border and the traffic police's W-point at ITO, were connected to the C4i," the officer admitted.
CCTV cameras will now be installed at crucial interstate border such as the DND Flyover, Kalindi Kunj, Tughlakabad Shooting Range, Chilla Border, Loni Border and Fatehpur Beri among others.
Police sources said a proposal for the installation of these had been dispatched to the MHA in August last year with the latter directing the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) being given a 180-day deadline to comply.
"Negotiations relating to pricing and specifications are almost complete," the officer added.
Confirming the development and calling an efficient electronic surveillance system 'completely indispensable' for the city, police commissioner BK Gupta said these would also help combat terror.
"The system will facilitate reliable identification of an individual and will certainly help save countless lives and even in keeping a check on street crime," the commissioner said.