Installation of CCTV cameras across Delhi: Kejriwal publicly tears apart LG-appointed panel’s report

Delhi CM says no licence required from police for collection of CCTV footage needed by the public; LG office says was only a draft, not a rule yet 

The Hush Post: In a display of hostility with the Delhi Lt Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal publicly tore apart a report of a panel set up by Lt Governor Anil Baijal on working out the guidelines for installation and monitoring of CCTV cameras across Delhi.

The issue is about the installation of approximately 2,000 CCTV cameras each to be fitted in 70 Assembly constituencies of Delhi for which the panel had put a clause that every owner and data controller of CCTV system collecting any information from public space shall report to the appropriate authority. And, the appropriate authority and police shall visit and assess if CCTVs are needed or not. Now, after Kejriwal’s act of defiance, “no mandatory permission” will be required from the police to set up the CCTV cameras.

The LG office in a statement, however, has clarified that the rules were only at a “draft stage” and had been put out in public domain for suggestions and clarifications. Around 20,000-strong crowd of representatives of RWAs, market associations and NGOs had gathered at the Indira Gandhi Stadium to discuss the panel’s suggestions.

Reading out portions of the draft report before tearing it to pieces, Kejriwal said, “For last three years, we have been trying to get CCTVs installed in the city. We also initiated the files, but the LG, other officers and BJP did not let us work”.

“In democracy, it is people’s rule and not police rule, LG sahab. So, I want to ask you all here, do we need to get any licence for installation of CCTV camera? You all said ‘No’. So, what should we do with this report, should we tear it?” he asked.

“Tomorrow I am going to sign the files that no licence be needed to install CCTV cameras,” Kejriwal said.

1.4 lakh CCTVs will be put up by the PWD Department and their location will be jointly decided by the governing bodies of the RWAs, market associations, local police and representatives of the private company from which the cameras will be bought. The state-run firm Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has been zeroed in by the Kejriwal government for installation of CCTV cameras. The recordings will be stored in NVR (Network Video Recorder) for 30 days in full HD.

CCTV cameras will see a reduction in cases of eve-teasing in public, rape cases, robbery, people drinking liquor in parks, illegal parking.

“I am not saying that everything will become alright, but my heart says that there would be 50 per cent reduction in crime cases once all the cameras are installed,” Kejriwal added.

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