Delhi govt sets ball rolling on 1.4 lakh CCTVs

The AAP-led Delhi government has finally taken the step to deliver on its poll promise of installing CCTV cameras in public spaces. The public works department (PWD) has given a contract of installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for INR 272 Cr. The work is expected to start from March. The deadline for the project has been set at one year. In all, INR 350 crore has been allocated for the project. PWD had received two bids for the project. “BEL’s bid was the lowest. The agency will install 2,000 cameras in each assembly constituency,” said a PWD official.Officials said they have received the list of proposed sites from all MLAs. The cameras will be installed mainly in residential and market areas. The department will do a field survey along with BEL, MLAs and other stakeholders to finalise the sites. The feed will be monitored by RWAs and market associations.

BEL will be responsible for maintenance of the cameras and related infrastructure for a period of five years. A control room will be set up at the PWD headquarters at ITO. In case a camera develops a defect, an SMS will be sent to the RWA/market association members, PWD official in-charge of the area, maintenance agency and PWD headquarters.

“The company has to ensure that 98% of the cameras are in working condition at all times otherwise a penalty will be levied,” said an official. The CCTV project, promised by AAP during the 2015 assembly elections to ensure women’s safety, has so far been executed either through MLA funds or under the projects for schools and buses.
The project, which had been hanging fire for quite some time, picked up pace in September last year when chief minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with PWD minister Satyender Jain, the then PWD principal secretary Ashwani Kumar and senior officials. Upset with the delay, the CM had directed the department to finalise the tender within two months. Jain had given the tentative date for starting the project as March or April 2018.

The tender was first floated in November 2017, but it didn’t receive a good response due to strict eligibility conditions. The tender was reissued in January after relaxing the criteria.

The tender floated in November 2017 laid the criteria that the bidder should have carried out a similar project and the cost incurred should have been 40% of the current project cost. Or, it should have done two projects with the cost of each being 30% of the current project cost. “We had received two bids the last time, but only one company qualified for the financial bid. We reworked the eligibility condition and slashed the cost of the previous project done by the company,” said an official.

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