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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

'Safe city' project announced, but CCTV proposal still stuck

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 21, 2013
First Published: 20:39 IST(21/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:41 IST(21/3/2013)

Even as the Punjab government has announced a "Safe City" project for Amritsar with a provision for CCTV cameras, sensors and other security gadgets, the files of the much-hyped CCTV camera project announced around two years back continue to gather dust in government offices.

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Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa had announced on Thursday that two cities, Amritsar and Ludhiana, would be brought under the "Safe City" project, which would cost around Rs. 135 crore.

When this project would become a reality only time can tell, but Amritsar is still awaiting the Rs. 4.5-crore CCTV project announced amid much fanfare two years ago.

The Amritsar Improvement Trust had announced to spend Rs. 4.5 crore on this project and had asked the Amritsar police to submit a report on the "key locations" where the cameras are needed.

After going through various exercises, the police identified 55 locations in the city where CCTV cameras were needed and the report was submitted to the improvement trust.

But till now, things haven't moved. Not even a single CCTV camera has been installed in the city under this project.

Since Amritsar is a city visited by thousands of tourists everyday, the CCTV project was considered an answer to security problems and incidents of snatching.

Talking to HT, additional deputy commissioner Sandeep Rishi, who also holds the charge of improvement trust chairman, said, "We are committed to launching the project announced by the trust and a sum of Rs. 5 crore has been kept aside for it. Police have submitted the list of locations where the cameras are needed. We have sent a request to the office of the Punjab DGP to set up an expert committee to handle this project."

Police still await response

Though the Amritsar police have given various reminders to the authorities for the installation of CCTV cameras outside liquor vends, no one has paid heed.

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