Mumbai will soon aspire for the tag of a Safe City as part of a project funded by the Centre,with major upgrades expected in its security machinery.
Police forces in seven chosen cities will be equipped with helicopters,state-of-the-art communication systems,the latest night-vision devices,GPS and GIS systems,surveillance cameras,portable X-ray machines,vehicle scanners,vehicle number plate identification system,modern riot protection gear and sophisticated bomb detecting devices.
Initially called the Mega City Policing Project,the scheme under the Ministry of Home Affairs has now been tweaked to a more robust concept,the Safe City Project,for New Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata,Chennai,Bangalore,Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
Speaking to Newsline,Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal said,Recently we received word from the government that there are changes being made to the Mega City Policing Project,and that it is being entirely metamorphosed into the Safe City project.
The police chief is scheduled to go to New Delhi for discussions on the framework of the new project. I am not aware of the details of this Safe City project yet. We have been called for meetings next month,during which we will get to know what exactly it entails, said Dayal.
On May 12,the MHA released a white paper on the Safe City concept based on recommendations from the CII and HCL Security. The project aims at neutralising growing threats to security of life,critical infrastructure and economic centres in the seven cities. These cities would eventually be equipped with an integrated security system for seamless policing.
The project is already being implemented at a preliminary phase in New Delhi,with the other six to follow suit soon under the Modernisation of Police Force Scheme.
The Safe City concept attempts to integrate technology with existing security processes and local security machinery such as the police,to develop a proactive system that helps in prevention,protection,detection,and containment of threats,along with reporting and effective response. Regular audits to identify areas of concern would also be an important aspect of the project.
The project will involve intelligence gathering and preventing or countering terror attacks and communal violence,while also dealing with VIP security,protection to vital installations,traffic management and crime investigation.
The Mega City Policing Project,of which the Safe City concept is essentially an extension,had been planned five years ago and a budget of Rs 500 crore sanctioned.