NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh will soon be proposing that the 100 ‘Smart Cities’ announced by the Prime Minister last month as part of a government flagship programme should also be developed as ‘Safe Cities’ as well through the latest security equipment like CCTVs, command control centers, patrol cars, aerial surveillance and more women cops.
The Home Ministry will be proposing to the Urban Development (UD) Ministry that the former’s ‘Safe City’ project should be combined with the Rs 48000 cr ‘Smart Cities’ concept so that the 100 cities to be developed as smart cities are also safe from crime or terror.
The present ‘Safe City’ project of the MHA covers only seven metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. The MHA now proposes to cover all 100 ‘Safe Cities’ under that concept in association with the UD Ministry.
Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting in this regard with MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, the Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development NR Wasan and MHA Security Advisor K. Vijay Kumar on Monday. “The smart cities need to be safe cities as well. We are planning to propose the same for planning in advance,” Rijiju told ET.
The Prime Minister had last month announced names of 98 cities which will be specially developed as ‘Smart Cities’ as part of a government flagship project, with one nomination of a city pending from Uttar Pradesh and J&K each.
“The idea is that MHA and UD Ministry should not work in isolation on each of its projects and it is better that MHA works with UD on the latter’s project rather than planning for the safety of the cities subsequently,” a MHA official said.
The Home Ministry’s ‘safe city’ project involves equipping the police systems in the megacities with modern gadgets like CCTV systems at all public places, a command control centre on the lines of the Fusion Centre in USA to monitor and act on all the said CCTV live feed, a Dial 100 system for emergency response and GPS-enabled dispatch of patrol cars. Aerial surveillance through UAV’s and helicopters is also part of MHA’s ‘Safe City’ plan. Other concepts of it include community policing,training on soft skills and attitudinal change in policemen and at least 33% women cops in the force.
The ‘Smart City’ concept involves promoting mixed land use in area based developments, housing and inclusiveness, creating walkable localities, promoting a variety of transport options and giving an identity to the city based on its main economic activity.