Dr Maqsood Ahmed, chief of the Sindh police’s Security Division, officially initiated the Rs22 billion Safe City project in a ceremony held at the Security Division headquarters. The project is a joint venture of the Government of Sindh and the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC).Officials said the project’s cost was reduced from Rs44 billion to Rs22 billion, with enhanced standards as compared to the earlier proposals. Moreover, 17 international firms would be part of the project, and 100 per cent transparency was observed in open negotiations with all the stakeholders in each other’s presence.
Officials said that in 2016 the Supreme Court had ordered launching the project. It was delayed due to multiple reasons. In January 2022 Security & Emergency Services Division DIG Dr Ahmed was handed over the additional charge of Sindh Safe Cities Authority (SSCA) director general.Since then there has been a significant progress towards the project’s launch. A series of meetings were presided over by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and Dr Ahmed during a short span of time.
The CS constituted a committee that was supervised by Dr Ahmed to evaluate and prepare an enhanced technical proposal and solution as well as a financial proposal for the project. After long deliberations with all the stakeholders, the project cost, which was earlier approximately Rs44 billion, was reduced to around Rs22 billion, with enhanced standards as compared to the earlier proposals.
Dr Ahmed chaired a meeting on Friday that was attended by representatives of the Sindh Safe Cities Authority and the NRTC, the technical committee’s members and all the other stakeholders of the project to officially announce the launch of Safe City.
He said that the best technical firms have been selected from among a wide array of options, and that the project will be launched in two phases. In the first phase 4,000 cameras will be installed at various points of the city, along with upgrading 2,000 existing cameras. In the second phase 6,000 cameras will be installed across the city.
Dr Ahmed said 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 per cent transparency.
Officials said Dr Ahmed and the technical team thoroughly discussed each component of the project with the NRTC and the vendors. Over 50 representatives of different companies attended various meetings and presented the strength and quality of their products.
The essential components that were missing from the earlier proposals were included in the project, which includes upgrading the existing 2,000-strong CCTV surveillance system, an emergency response system with vehicles, human resources, training facilities and a digital communication network.