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AAP govt plans mega meet to seek public view on installing CCTVs in Delhi

The AAP government has informed lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal about the public meeting about installing CCTVs in a letter written by Public Works Department (PWD) minister Satyendar Jain on July 13.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2018 13:05 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AAP Govt,AAP Govt to hold mega meet,CCTVs in Delhi
Installation of CCTVs across the Capital was one of the major poll promises of AAP during the 2015 elections.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will hold a mega event on July 29 to seek public opinion on installing 1.4 lakh CCTVs across the city.

The government has informed lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal about the public meeting in a letter written by Public Works Department (PWD) minister Satyendar Jain on July 13.

In the letter, the minister also sought an extension of the last date for receiving comments from people on the recommendations of an L-G-appointed committee on installation, operation and monitoring these CCTV cameras. The ministers’ request to the L-G comes at a time when the AAP government, led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, has dubbed the panel “illegal”, after the Supreme Court on July 4 ruled that the L-G’s concurrence was not required in administrative matters other than land, police and public order.

Jain, in his letter, acknowledged the L-G’s committee by saying that, “The said committee has formulated guidelines/ rules, which are to be issued under the Delhi Police Act, 1978. Public opinion/feedback on the proposed rules/guidelines with regard to CCTV cameras have been invited by July 20, 2018 by the said committee.”

“In this regard, it is to submit that Delhi government is planning to discuss the issues relating to installation of CCTV cameras with representatives of resident welfare associations, market associations and general public on July 29. It is requested to extend the date of public suggestion on CCTV cameras beyond July 29,” read the minister’s letter to L-G.

Acting on the minister’s request, principal secretary (home) Manoj Parida later extended the last date for comments to July 30. The L-G appointed committee has recommended that the Delhi Police will be the custodian of all CCTV cameras in public spaces.

While calls and messages to PWD minister Satyendar Jain went unanswered, officials in his office said the AAP government has planned a “big event” on July 29 which will have an audience of 4,000 people. It will be held at Indira Gandhi stadium.

“The entire cabinet and all legislators will be present. People will be directly asked if they want police to control the entire project. The public will also be made aware that the entire project of installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras will cost ₹571 crore, which will be borne fully by the AAP government and not the police,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

However, leader of opposition, Vijender Gupta, said that the move was a political step where the AAP government plans to take credit for the CCTV project. “Kejriwal has made a U-turn by writing to the L-G. After the July 29 event, they will add their own comments to the panel’s proposal and if they are not accepted, they will play the victim card,” he said.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 12:50 IST