The Centre has approved projects worth Rs 2,919 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund for creating “safe cities” with special focus on safety of women in public spaces and quick response systems to create deterrence against crime. Eight cities where these initiatives will take shape include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow. Between 2013 and 2017, the corpus of the Nirbhaya Fund has grown to Rs 3,100 crore.
Another Rs 500 crore has been set aside for it for 2018-19. The empowered committee of officers also approved user trials of the panic button feature on mobile phones that will start sometime later this month in Uttar Pradesh . It has also sanctioned setting up of a model forensic science laboratory in Chandigarh.
Plans for safe cities have been prepared in coordination with municipal corporations and police commissionerates of these cities. For instance, in Delhi a project worth Rs 663 crore has been approved to enhance safety of public places like roads, schools and metro stations. The project includes use of latest technology such as video monitoring, facial recognition analytics, and person tracking systems. Dedicated women safety patrol vans will be added to the existing fleet of the Delhi Police. These vans will be equipped with GPS tracking and on-board video feed sharing. Mumbai has been sanctioned Rs 252 crore to enable GIS mapping of criminal hotspots, video surveillance, training of investigating officers and quick response police teams.