LAHORE: The Punjab prisons department has sought assistance from the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) for completing its “security surveillance solution” project that aims to further tighten the security of the prisons across Punjab and converting them on modern technologies.
Talking to Business Recorder on Tuesday, Punjab Inspector General for Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig said the security surveillance solution was a big project under which many initiatives are to be taken mainly to further improve surveillance inside the jails besides converting the whole department on modern technologies which would eventually benefit the people.
Under the project, he said that different equipments such as CCTV cameras, walkthrough gates, metal detectors, body scanning (X-ray) machines and gadgets required for video conferences will be installed. “Currently, this project has successfully been completed in 27 jails and it will soon be replicated in the remaining 14 jails with the assistance of NRTC,” he added.
To give a final shape to the project, the IG said he held a meeting today with a delegation of the NRTC, led by its General Manager (Central) Brig Syed Muzaffar Ahmed (retd), at his office. During the discussion, Shahid said that it was decided that maintenance and operational control of jammers will be handed over to the NRTC for a period of three years.
However, a source privy to the information told Business Recorder that the NRTC’s assurance to help the prisons department in completing its project was subject to the payments of its pending hefty dues. “It is correct that the NRTC team had expressed its inability to help us completing the project without the clearance of our pending dues, but since we (prison department and NRTC) both are government departments, such issues are not a big deal,” the IG commented.
He lamented that the prison department gets ‘insufficient’ funds every year as compared to what they propose to the government in the Annual Developmental Programmes (ADPs) due to which they had to face several (financial) constraints while new initiatives. The IG said that a major chunk of the pending dues has been paid to the NRTC and a way out had been chalked out to clear the remaining amounts. He said they assured the NRTC that it would get timely payments for now on and in return they agreed to complete the security surveillance solution project.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021