Safe City Project has shown a 50% reduction in Lahore’s crime rate. Here’s how
Owing to the purported efficacy of the initiative, the Safe City Authority had proposed to install cameras at around 75 more places in Lahore.
Under the Safe City Project, the Punjab Government had installed 8,000 cameras in Lahore. The installation of these cameras made it easier for the police to trace criminals.
The Safe City Authority regularly observed the cameras and contacted the police via 15 in case of any suspicious activity. This allowed the police officials to reach a potentially turbulent spot on time, which reduced the crime rate in Punjab’s capital city by 50%.
The police sources stated:
The crime rate has increased in places where the cameras have not been installed as yet.
Owing to the purported efficacy of the initiative, the Safe City Authority had proposed to install cameras at around 75 more places in Lahore. For this year, the government had suggested that the Safe City would install cameras in Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib. The plan’s PC-1 was approved.
However, the timeline of the project was disrupted when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. The authorities said:
The funds for the camera installation project were utilized to battle the coronavirus epidemic instead in 2020.
Now, the Planning and Development Department Punjab has decided to release funds for continuing the project. According to sources, the government will install cameras in certain cities of Punjab, including Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Multan, Sargodha, and Bahawalpur, after receiving the funds.
In the FY20-21 budget, the government announced:
The cameras would be installed in more cities under the Safe City Project. An amount of Rs. 12 million will be set aside for the purpose, although the funds are deemed not to be adequate.
The Chief Operating Officer SCA Kamran Khan said:
The process of installing cameras in the rest of the cities will begin soon, and with optimum changes, the project will require lesser funds.
A spokesperson of the Safe City Authority said:
8,000 cameras were installed in Lahore at a cost of Rs. 17.5 billion, but now the price will be reduced due to modern technology and the fiber-optic cable facility from the PTCL.
The spokesperson further stated:
As Lahore is a vast city, around 50,000 cameras should ideally be installed, particularly around the newly-developed areas, to curb the crime rate.
The spokesperson concluded by saying:
Suggestions have been made to the government in this regard. Around 1,500 of the total cameras installed in Lahore are out of order. The company tasked with installing the cameras has been notified of the problem, and it will replace the faulty cameras soon.
It should be noted that Safe City’s camera installation project has delighted Lahore residents. They believe that the surveillance has led to a major reduction in robberies on Lahore’s main highways and has improved the functionality of the city’s traffic system.
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