Karachi needs 100,000 CCTV cameras and funds have been approved for the project’s first phase wherein 10,000 will be installed at 200 locations, the provincial police chief said on Sunday.
These cameras will have a resolution of 10 to 12 megapixels and also capable of capturing night vision footage, IGP AD Khowaja told The News.
The official said 60 locations had been chosen for areas falling in East district including Ferozabad, Tipu Sultan, Sharea Faisal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Aziz Bhatti, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Airport, and Model Colony where the cameras would be installed.
In the Central district, 30 locations have been selected in the areas of Samanabad, Gulberg, Jauharabad, Azizabad, Yousuf Plaza, Rizvia, Gulbahar, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Sharifabad, and Super Market.
Similarly, 30 locations have been chosen in the West district’s areas of Baldia, Madina Colony, Saeedabad, Ittehad Town, SITE-A, SITE-B, Pak Colony, Shershah, Orangi Town, Iqbal Market, Surjani, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Peerabad, Pakistan Bazaar, Manghopir, and Mominabad.
In the South district and the police’s City Division, 80 locations have been selected in Clifton, Boat Basin, Gizri, Darakhshan, Sahil, Kharadar, Mithadar, Risala, Mauripur, Moachko, Docks, and Jackson.
The IGP said these cameras would be operated by the command and control unit at the Central Police Office.
“The Sindh police had 2,300 installed cameras at different locations of Karachi earlier, but their resolution was only 2 megapixels which were of no help in identifying at crime scenes,” he said. “Besides, after their installation, they were never maintained so many of them malfunctioned.”
However, the provincial government in a recent meeting finalised the proposal for the new cameras with a resolution of 10 to 12 megapixels and approved funds for the first phase.
The police chief said the locations that had been chosen included schools, religious places, entrance and exit points of government and private offices, commercial areas, VVIP movement routes, and places with a high rate of target killings, muggings, and other crimes.
“The chief minister has assured that funds would be released soon,” he added.
The official said with the new cameras, police would be able to acquire video evidence.
“Initially the project will cover major spots all over the city, but its main concentration will be the main sensitive and commercial zones including government installations and red zone areas. In addition to this, the system will also monitor vehicles plying on the city’s roads and those entering and leaving the city.”
The surveillance system will cover National Highway, Super Highway, RCD Highway and Coastal Highway.
The cameras will also be able to store footage and have the feature of zooming in and out.
“The objective behind the installation of a surveillance system in Karachi is to help in deterrence of terrorist activities and street crimes, monitor vehicular traffic, increase VVIP security, and to improve the overall public safety.
In a recently held meeting, plans were discussed that focused on coordination and linking of private cameras in the city and at banks and other financial institutions with the Sindh police's Central Command Centre, with an aim for improving the monitoring, investigation, and controlling of crimes.
The meeting reviewed at length the launching of a pilot project to monitor the entrance and exit points and the surroundings of banks and other financial organisations on the major thoroughfares of Karachi.
As per the plan, a survey of the city would be carried out to ascertain the points where strict surveillance was needed.
A study will be conducted on the number of streets and roads connecting different areas and major thoroughfares for a comparative analysis with deployment of police for monitoring and quick response action.
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