Seven major cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, have been given Rs 226 crore for augmenting infrastructure for surveillance, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir has said. Addressing the fourth Smart Cities Summit, Minister of State for Home Ahir said the role of data and IT, especially video surveillance in enhancing security, has become vital. For SMART policing, the Home Ministry has provided Rs 226 crore under the Mega City Policing scheme for seven big cities Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The minister said with rising public security awareness, increasing government security spending and initiatives such as Smart Cities and surging digitisation, the government sector has become the major player in the surveillance market, both in India and globally.
The minister said since video surveillance systems act as crime deterrents, criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the area in the presence of advanced, well-covered video monitoring systems. Across India, police officials reel off cases where CCTVs have made all the difference in identifying offenders and speeding up investigations. Public surveillance cameras can be a cost effective way to deter, monitor and reduce crimes, he said.
Ahir said public safety and security is increasingly an issue of concern for both the government and the citizens, adding that cities which can assure security are a favoured destination over others. The ambitious and inspiring Smart Cities Mission launched by the government in 2015, with the ‘Smart City Challenge’ of building 100 smart cities over the next five years, is certainly going to boost the formation of safe and secure cities going forward, he said.