Still battling: Kejriwal and Baijal.

Still battling: Kejriwal and Baijal.

Kejriwal won’t wait for LG’s nod to install CCTVs in Delhi; tells PWD to go ahead

AAP accuses LG of making misleading statements on CCTV project

Agency Report | New Delhi | 30 July, 2018 | 11:50 PM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday asked ministers and officers to go ahead with the CCTV project, saying no licence is required for the camera installation.

Kejriwal said a cabinet note on the matter will be taken up in the next meeting of the cabinet later this week.

The Public Works Department (PWD) will be in-charge of the project.

The Chief Minister gave the go-ahead to the officials concerned after rejecting the report of a committee formed by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, which suggested that the Delhi Police would be the custodian of all CCTVs in public spaces in the capital, including the ones to be installed under the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s CCTV project.

The draft recommendations also said that permission would be required for the camera installation.

On Sunday, Kejriwal had said that he will on Monday sign the CCTV project, ensuring that the cameras are installed at locations approved by the public, as there is no requirement for licence.

Installation of CCTV cameras in Delhi was one of the key points in the manifesto of the AAP, to improve the security and safety of the citizens.

The project of installing 1.5 lakh CCTVs across the national capital has been pending for long for the want of Baijal’s approval.

Kejriwal has accused the LG of stalling their ambitious project at the “behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party”.
Delhi’s ruling AAP on Monday accused the Lt. Governor of making “misleading statements” to create hurdles in the implementation of CCTV project in the city.

With Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s office saying that there have been reported instances of “misuse of CCTV for intrusion on and compromises with the privacy of individuals”, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said: “The misleading public statements being issued by the office of the Lt Governor of Delhi on the installation of CCTVs in residential areas and markets is a dirty ploy to create deliberate hurdles in the implementation of this major safety measure.”

Calling the reasons given by LG baseless, Bhardwaj said that the LG’s office needs to tell “how CCTV cameras, to be installed at entry/exit gates of residential areas, are a breach of privacy?”

“According to the latest data, at least 118 vehicles are stolen in Delhi every day and a majority of such thefts take place from the parking of residential areas. So going by the baseless objections being raised by the LG’s office, should the residents of Delhi understand that the LG, who is in-charge of Delhi Police, does not want to prevent such thefts?” he asked.

About women safety, Bhardwaj said that the “LG should step out of his palace” to get a first-hand experience of the serious condition of women safety in Delhi.

He further went on to say that it is extremely unfortunate that the LG, who is responsible for maintenance of law and order in the city, instead of supporting the elected government, is “raising baseless objections with ulterior motives for purely political reasons.”

“The LG needs to understand that now, the subjects which fall within the domain of the elected government do not require his concurrence and he will be well advised to act within the constitutional framework.

“He should desist from behaving like a BJP appointed viceroy who has no accountability and is not responsible for any of his decisions,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a move which intensifies the cold war between Baijal and the Delhi government, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gave a go-ahead to the Public Works Department to install CCTV cameras across the city.

He also rejected the draft recommendations made by Baijal’s office which mandated police permission before installing CCTVs.