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KARACHI: In order to ensure protection of public life and properties, and enhance security and surveillance, as many as 10,000 new close circuit television (CCTV) cameras are being installed in Karachi under the much needed Safe City Project.

The existing 2000 CCTV cameras are also being up-graded under the same project which has been officially kicked off here on Friday at a ceremony held at Security & Emergency Services Division Headquarters.

The project is a joint venture of Government of Sindh and National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC).

DG Sindh Safe Cities Authority (SSCA) Dr Maqsood Ahmed said that best technical firms have been selected from among the wide array of options and that the project will be launched in two phases. In the first phase, 4000 cameras will be installed at various points of the city along with the up-gradation of 2000 existing cameras.

In the second phase, 6000 cameras will be installed across the city.

Project cost has been reduced from Rs. 44 billion to Rs. 22 billion with enhanced standards as compared to earlier proposals. Some 17 international firms will be part of the project. Complete transparency was observed with open negotiations with all the stakeholders in each others’ presence.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Pakistan instructed to launch the project. It was been delayed due to multiple reasons.

In January 2022, DIG Security and Emergency Services Division Dr Maqsood Ahmed was handed over the additional charge of DG Sindh Safe Cities Authority.

Since then there has been a significant progress in the launch of project. A series of meetings were presided over by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Sohail Rajput and DG Sindh Safe Cities Authority during a short span.

Chief Secretary Sindh constituted a committee under the supervision of DG Sindh Safe Cities Authority to evaluate and prepare an enhanced technical proposal/ solution, as well as, a financial proposal of the project.

After long deliberations with all the stakeholders, the project cost, which was earlier Rs. 44 billion approximately, was reduced to Rs. 22 billion approximately, with enhanced standards as compared to earlier proposals.

Dr. Maqsood Ahmed chaired a meeting which was attended by the representatives of Sindh Safe Cities Authority, NRTC, Technical Committee members and all stakeholders of the project to officially announce the launch of project.

DG SSCA stated that it will be a historic and beneficial project for the people of Karachi in terms of security and surveillance, based on meritocracy and 100% transparency.

The DG SSCA & technical team thoroughly discussed each component of the project with the NRTC and the vendors. More than 50 representatives of different companies attended various meetings and presented the strength and quality of their products. The essential components which were missing from the earlier proposals were included in the project, which includes upgradation of existing 2000 CCTV surveillance system, emergency response system & vehicles, human resource & training facility, and digital communication network.

As per officials of SSCA, the following brands would provide technical support in completion of the project: Hikvision, Cisco, NRTC, Oracle, Schneider/ APC, Avaya, Vericom, Hytera, Hystar, HP, Optech Pvt Ltd, Global Connect Synergy, Optech Pvt Ltd, Toyota/ Suzuki, Caterpillar, DJI and Amped Five.

In addition to the technical support, the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) will provide comprehensive operational, technical and maintenance training to personnel of SSCA and NRTC.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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