The Karnataka Government has given MLAs permission to spend their Local Area Development (LAD) funds to install CCTV cameras. According to the amendments made to the rules pertaining to MLA LAD funds through a state government order issued on March 11, each legislator is allowed to spend up to Rs 30 lakh on installation of CCTVs and solar lighting per year.
At present, Rs 2 crore is allotted under the LAD funds for each MLA, per year. Even though MLAs are free to spend the amount as they choose on development work, the government has now listed out specific work that can be carried out using these funds. The list included repair of roads, sewerage lines, constructing school buildings, culverts and other similar types of civil work. However, with the sudden rise in crime rate and failure of law and order in urban areas it has forced MLAs to exert pressure on the government to allow for the purchase of CCTVs under LAD.
According to SR Patil, Minister for IT, BT, Science and Technology, Planning and Statistics, the government has allowed for several modern amenities that can be provided to the public under LAD funds. “Be it the purchase of CCTV cameras, Solar street lamps, high mast lamps and for their constituencies, the government has now allowed them to be included under MLA local area funds,” Patil said. Given the fact that most crime happens in crowded areas under the cover of darkness, the legislators have also been encouraged to install solar lights and high-mast lights along with CCTVs.
While the CCTVs will come in handy for both public and police in urban areas to prevent criminal activities, in rural areas, netas have been planning to install CCTVs at schools, as the latest order from the government makes it mandatory for schools to have CCTVs. D G Shanatana Gowda, MLA from Honnali said: “Several schools were in a fix following the government’s order that they install CCTVs if they wish to be chosen as centres for SSLC examination. Failing which, the schools would be barred from holding the exams next year. Government schools and aided schools have little money to invest in CCTV cameras and many were forcing us to provide them with cameras. Now the government has allowed it and we can help such schools in installing CCTVs.”