Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his Cabinet ministers and Aam Aadmi Party MLAs marched to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s home on Monday to protest against what they claim are his efforts to stall the Delhi government’s proposal to install closed-circuit television cameras in residential colonies, reported The Indian Express. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot were among those who sat outside Baijal’s home.
The Delhi government plans to fix 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras across the national Capital. The state government says this will contribute towards the safety of women in the city.
On May 8, Baijal constituted a committee to formulate a standard operating procedure and regulatory framework for CCTV cameras in Delhi, reported Firstpost. The Delhi government claims that this is a stalling tactic. “The committee set up by the Lieutenant Governor is very dangerous,” Kejriwal told the Indian Express. “[It has] been set up to stall the CCTV project.”
On Monday, Kejriwal told The Times of India that the Lieutenant Governor was refusing to meet the MLAs. “We want him to meet all of us including the MLAs,” he said. The Lieutenant Governor’s office informed Kejriwal that Baijal would only meet the ministers, reported The Indian Express.
In a letter to Kejriwal on Sunday, Baijal said, “Uncontrolled and unregulated mushrooming of CCTV cameras does not lead to any effective outcome for security and law enforcement and it may encroach upon the privacy of individuals.” He further said, “No proposal relating to the award of work for installation of CCTV cameras has been received in the office of the Lieutenant Governor,” reported Firstpost.
In response to the letter, Kejriwal wrote, “Which law gives powers to Lieutenant Governor to set up such a committee to frame regulatory framework and make laws and rules for installing CCTV cameras?” He also said, “More than two lakh cameras were installed by other agencies in the last two years. Why didn’t you set up any committee then?”
On May 11, the Congress accused the Delhi government of “compromising national security” by giving the contract to install the cameras to a Chinese government company, PTI reported.
Kejriwal had said the tender had been given to Bharat Electronics Limited – a claim the Congress countered.