Electronic surveillance system will help reign in organised crime and terrorism, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said while inaugurating an extensive network of CCTV cameras in Rajkot on Friday.
“The government is concerned about chain-snatching, minor clashes etc. But the bigger worry for the government is organised crime, terrorist attacks, (threat to) internal security of the country. These projects are going to be very useful in this respect. We are trying to put in place a system where nobody would be able to set his evil eye on our country and Gujarat,” the CM said.
Rupani was addressing a public meeting in Hemu Gadhvi Hall after inaugurating first phase of Rajkot Eye-Way, a project of an extensive network of CCTV cameras for electronic surveillance in the city. The Rs69 crore project is jointly funded by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, home department of Gujarat and also by public contribution. In the first phase, 487 CCTV cameras have been installed at important junctions and public utilities in the city. These cameras will detect red light violation, recognise registration numbers of vehicles violating traffic rules and generate e-challans and will also keep an eye on an open plot of RMC on pilot basis. Along with the camera, 20 environment censors have also been installed. These sensors will assess the quality of ambient air in the city while 15 Wi-Fi hotspots will provide free Wi-Fi service at select public places. The civic body has also set up 16 giant LED screens at public places for running public awareness campaigns and disseminate information among public.
The CM said the surveillance network will make it difficult for criminals to evade police. “The government is committed to eliminate crime from Rajkot. This was the reason this surveillance system was needed here. I remember, some time ago, ( a criminal dubbed as) stone killer had committed three or four murders. He was stoning people to death and was at large. I congratulate Rajkot city police for catching this “stone killer” from Jamangar on the basis of CCTV footage… This is use of technology. In Rajkot, 500 CCTV cameras have been installed. Another 500 will installed later on. This sharp eye, the Eye-Way project will be watching every corner of the city. Those committing crimes, violating rules will be caught. This is a programme to control crime in Rajkot,” he said.
Rupani said that work was in progress to create similar CCTV surveillance networks in 40 towns, including all the district headquarters of the state and six religious places on the list of Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board. “We had alloted Rs250 crore for these projects and they will start functioning from first week of October,” said the CM.
Work on Rajkot Eye-Way began in May this year. The state home department has spent Rs16 crore while around Rs2 crore has been public contribution. The rest 51 crore is borne by RMC under Smart City mission. The CM said that the CCTV cameras will also act as deterrent for criminals. “Chain-snatchers would snatch chains from women in broad daylight and would think nobody knows about it. But this will stop. They will be caught the very next day because cameras have been installed all around. People will be now afraid to commit crime in general and if they commit at all, they will be caught soon with the help of this technology,” said Rupani. Later in the day, Rupani, who is an MLA from Rajkot (west) constituency in the city laid the foundation stone for a Rs9 crore community hall near SNK School on University Road.