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Delhi Cabinet clears proposal to install CCTV cameras across the city

The AAP government has planned to set up 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras, saying it will make the city safer for women.

The Delhi Cabinet on Friday approved a proposal for the installation of closed-circuit television cameras across the national capital, PTI reported. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party government had decided to go ahead with the scheme as the Centre, which controls the Delhi Police, had not worked to stop crimes against women.

“Since law and order and police come under the Lieutenant Governor, the Prime Minister, and Rajnath Singh [Union Home Minister], they should take action,” he said. “We have seen that they didn’t do anything.”

The Delhi government plans to fix 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras across the city, saying it will contribute towards the safety of women. The estimated cost of the project by the Public Works Department is Rs 571.40 crore. However, the project had led to disagreements between Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the government. The Aam Aadmi Party accused the Centre of stalling work in the city through Baijal’s office.

Kejriwal added that although the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, and the Lieutenant Governor tried their best to stop the scheme from being implemented, public support helped the AAP government to proceed with it.

On Friday, the Assembly passed a resolution calling for the “immediate removal” of Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, accusing him of acting on behalf of the Centre and trying to stop the CCTV project.

In May, Kejriwal, his Cabinet ministers, and AAP MLAs had marched to Baijal’s home to protest against what they claimed were his efforts to stall the Delhi government’s proposal to install CCTV cameras in residential colonies. Baijal claimed that “uncontrolled mushrooming” of CCTV cameras could not guarantee security and would encroach upon the privacy of individuals. Baijal also said that his office had not received a proposal related to the camera installation.

Kejriwal said that the Delhi government had given an in-principle approval to the plan in October 2015. “With the help of officers, they moved files in a way that the installation of CCTV cameras was delayed by three years,” Kejriwal said in the Assembly on Friday. He also asked BJP legislators to make sure that Baijal created no further “hurdles”.

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