NEW DELHI: No surprise here. In a democracy of equals, the VVIPs are more equal than others. In the aftermath of the terror attacks across the country and threats to top dignitaries, the security and intelligence agencies have decided to install high-end closed circuit television cameras along all the VVIP routes in the national capital and near their residences.
The security agencies’ biggest concern is to identify and stop ‘lone wolf’ attackers. “The attacks in the name of ISIS do not necessarily have to be ordered by the organisation’s high command. Instead, it is becoming apparent that the radicalised individuals are perfectly capable of planning mass murders under their own initiative, without any direct connection, training or resources from a central body,” said Additional Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar.
Concerned over this, the security agencies have planned to install 3,921 CCTV cameras across frequent VVIP routes which include the Prime Minister’s residence (7 Race Course Road) to the airport, to BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road, to the Prime Minister’s Office at Raisina Hill, to Vigyan Bhawan, to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Delhi office at Keshav Kunj, to Rajghat, to Parliament, and to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The technical committee has approved the project estimated at a cost of Rs 221.69 crore and administrative approval is pending.
Besides installing CCTV cameras on the routes of VVIPs, security agencies have also planned to have such cameras at courts and other offices where threat perception is very high. “A total of 1,320 CCTV cameras to be installed at Chankyapuri, Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, Parliament Street, Mandir Marg and Paharganj at the cost of Rs 74.30 crore,” said a senior police officer. This project has already been approved and work has been allotted to Electronics Corporation of India Ltd.
As per the detail plan, the security agency has planned to install 1,599 CCTV cameras outside vital locations like Supreme Court, High Court, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence, Lieutenant Governor House, Vithalbhai Patel House, and other district courts where threat perception is very high.
The security agency has planned to install 81 CCTV cameras inside and outside Delhi Police Headquarters at the cost of Rs 1.65 crore. The proposal has been sent to Ministry of Home Affairs for the final approval. “We have also planned to install 28 cameras at Economic Offence Wing building at Mandir Marg at the cost of Rs 1.31 crore. There is urgent need to install cameras as many paramilitary forces are stationed in the building,” said the officer.
By installing CCTV cameras, the officer added that the security agencies can monitor effectively and can stop untoward incidents in these vulnerable areas.
However, past terror attacks have claimed the lives of ordinary citizens and put in danger a few VVIPs. Various terror attacks have taken place in these areas in the last five years. On September 7, 2011, bomb blast took place outside Gate No. 5 of the Delhi High Court, where a suspected briefcase bomb was planted. The blast killed 17 people and injured 76.
Similarly, on February 13, 2012, an Israeli mission car carrying Administrative Attache Tal Yehoshua-Koren, wife of an Israeli Defence Attache, was injured when terrorists stuck a magnetic bomb to the car on high-security Aurangzeb Road, barely 500 metres from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence. Her driver and two others also suffered injuries.