Karachi metropolitan yet to become safe city

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The work on the Safe City project, under which Karachi is to see the installation of 10,000 CCTV cameras, could not start despite the passage of seven years.

The joint venture of the Sindh government and the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) was delayed due to multiple reasons despite the Supreme Court’s order to launch it in 2016, says in media reports. During this period, the initial estimated cost of the project has ballooned from Rs10 billion to Rs40 billion and the committee set up to finalise the project has held multiple meetings.

The project which was approved in 2011 is yet to be launched as the cost of the project has witnessed a 300 percent increase.

The initial plan of the safe city project in 2011 estimated a cost of Rs 10 billion; however, after a span of 12 years, the cost has reached Rs 40 billion.As many as 10,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) will be installed phase-wise across the metropolis under the Karachi Safe City Project.

In the first phase, 4,000 cameras will be installed across the city and 6,000 in the next phase.The project included the installation of CCTV cameras and establishment of command and control centres in the city besides introduction of the face and vehicle recognition software and biometric system to identify culprits.

Although the Sindh government had claimed that it would soon launch the project, however, the multiplying cost of the project due to delay from the provincial authorities has raised serious questions on the performance of the Sindh government.