BJP leader and RK Puram MLA Anil Sharma plans to spend a major chunk of his local area development fund to bring housing societies, colonies, markets and public places in his constituency under CCTV surveillance.
This is the first time an MLA would be using money from his fund to buy CCTV cameras. Usually, MLAs use the funds to build or repair roads and drains, install streetlights and build parks.
Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung has given permission for the move, set to be followed by other BJP MLAs. “This will be a good utilisation of MLA funds,” Jung said in his order.
Sharma said CCTV policing was essential for making streets safer for women. “If eve-teasers and stalkers know that they are being watched and would be caught, a lot of crimes can be prevented. In other countries, police get a lot of help from CCTV footage to catch culprits. Government agencies here have been slow in installing CCTV cameras, so realising the urgency, as their elected representative, I would use my funds to make them feel secure,” he said.
In his letter to the Lt-Governor seeking permission for his plan, Sharma stated, “R K Puram is one of the largest Assembly constituencies. Sectors 1 to 12 and South Moti Bagh is home to Central government employees. And there are societies that house working couples. There has been a major rise in cases of burglaries. During discussions with RWAs, it was decided that CCTV coverage can tackle the problem at hand. And as residents are unable to pay for the project, I would like to use my MLA fund to start the project.”
After the December 16 gangrape incident, a committee formed by the Centre had suggested that all civic agencies and police should install CCTV cameras at public places to check crime. Civic corporations had even moved a proposal for installing CCTV cameras in and around girls’ schools. That plan is yet to take off.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) too had cleared a proposal to install CCTVs in and around Connaught Place. The NDMC chairman had even said he wanted every roundabout to be policed by CCTV cameras.