Delhi govt to install 140,000 more CCTV cameras across the city

The Delhi government has decided to initiate the second phase of its CCTV project under which 140,000 new cameras will be installed across the Capital, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said. The government has already installed over 275,000 cameras, covering streets, public spaces, residential colonies and schools across the city, under the first phase of the project.

The CM said that once the project is complete, Delhi will have 415,000 CCTV cameras.
“We are far ahead of London, New York, Singapore and Paris, to the point that there is no comparison. Within India, Chennai comes at number two and Delhi has more than three times the number of cameras in Chennai…,” said the CM. In August, a Forbes India report said Delhi is the most surveilled city of the world, with 1,826.6 CCTV cameras per square mile, followed by London with 1,138 cameras per square mile.
Kejriwal said the CCTV project has helped improve security, especially for women. “These cameras will have 4-megapixel resolution and night vision. They will help in increasing security situation in the city and we hope people will feel more secure,” Kejriwal said.
He added that the government faced resistance from the central government and the Lieutenant Governor before the project could be started. “We had to even carry out a dharna with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at the Lieutenant Governor’s house. We remained resolute and steadfast,” he added.

Kejriwal said the cameras will be installed by Bharat Electronics Limited, a public sector undertaking. “If a unit is not functional, an alarm is raised in the command centre and SMS is sent to the authorised people. If a camera is broken, non-operational or even if someone restricts its visibility, an immediate alarm is raised at the command centre. The footage from the cameras will be saved for 30 days and the live feed will be accessible only by three-four authorised people anywhere in the world,” he added.

The CCTV project is part of the government’s larger action plan to enhance women safety in the Capital, which was one of the main aspects of the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2020 assembly elections.

The project is being undertaken by the public works department (PWD) which is operating a central command and control centre on the 11th floor of its headquarters at ITO where a specialised team will monitor the live feed. Retired IPS officer Ashok Chand, who was deputy commissioner of police of the special cell for six years, said the CCTV cameras will help investigations.

“The addition of cameras will definitely help solve cases, but it must be ensured that the picture quality is good and that they are positioned at the right place. In many cases, cameras are found to not be operational after a crime, so enough emphasis should be given to find out how many cameras are operational,” Chand added.

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