Noida to get ₹180 crore under centre’s ‘Safe city’ project - Hindustan Times
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Noida to get 180 crore under centre’s ‘Safe city’ project

BySanjeev K Jha, Noida
Aug 18, 2020 11:22 PM IST

Noida will soon have exclusive women police outposts, dedicated help desks at all police stations, more ‘pink’ toilets, said the district police, with the city being recently selected for the ‘Safe City’ project by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA).

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Noida was selected for the scheme by the home ministry last week and would be the second city in the state after Lucknow (selected last year in November) to get funds under the project. The MHA has approved a total budget of 180 crore for Noida under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme. Noida will be developed as a ‘Safe City’ with the central and state governments contributing funds in 60:40 ratio.

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The project will be implemented by the police commissionerate, with support from different industrial development authorities (Noida authority, Yamuna Expressway authority among others) besides help from the transport department.

Noida was among four cities whose name was sent to the MHA by the state government last year in December for development under the ‘Safe City’ project. The other three cities whose names were sent were Varanasi, Kanpur, and Gorkahpur.

“The proposals under this project aim at women’s safety and empowerment by not only providing a safe and secure environment but also enabling them to defend themselves against such crimes,” said Noida commissioner of police (CP) Alok Singh. He also added said there is a need to take concrete law enforcement initiatives focused upon mitigation and proactive resolution of criminal offences against women.

The police commissioner also said in addition to the facility to lodge any complaint with Police Control Room (PCR) with the 112 helpline, a special ‘women powerline’ (1090) is being run on which women can lodge a complaint. “Many mobile applications for women have also come up at the state and local levels. We are now trying to integrate all of them over a common platform. The plan includes setting up of an Integrated Smart Control Room, setting up ‘pink’ outposts (exclusively administered by women police) for facilitating ease of filing a complaint by women, night patrolling by women police officers, setting up women help desks at all police stations with counselors, implementing safety measures in buses, installing CCTV cameras, improving street lighting in identified crime areas, setting up more ‘Pink’ toilets (facilities equipped with sanitary napkins among other amenities) and integration of ‘women powerline’ with the single emergency number 112,” he said. “An integrated approach will help in assisting women in distress on a 24x7 basis.”

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Nitin Tiwari, the nodal officer of the ‘Safe City’ project, said the project will also have provision for integration with other projects of Noida police such as Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS), cyber security cell among others in the future. “CCTV surveillance at public places will include installation of cameras across the city at strategic locations around public places frequented by women and vulnerable sections and where CCTV surveillance can assist the law enforcement agencies in prevention and detection of crimes,” he said.

Tiwari further said that CCTV surveillance will first connect to the local police station level, where a local command centre (LOCO) will be established with a storage capability of seven days. “The same feed from the police station will be available at district headquarters, where a district command centre (DISCO) will be established. The DISCO will have alerts and aggregation capabilities, which will be integrated with the existing central command centre(CENCO). The project will involve deployment of video and communication analytics software for identifying and promptly tracking persons and vehicles involved in incidents of harassing women in public places,” he said.

However, experts have raised concerns with Noida’s impetus on increased surveillance for ensuring women safety. Kalpana Vishwanath, co-founder and chief executive officer of Safetipin, an organisation that works on make cities safer for women, said that installing CCTV cameras and installing ‘pink’ toilets does not translate into ensuring safety and security of women completely. “Moreover, the Nirbhaya fund is not meant only for the technological interventions planned by the Noida police. I think a multi-prolonged outlook and many other efforts are needed from the centre and states to make cities safe for women,” she said.

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