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AAP, BJP indulge in political slugfest over CCTV camera project

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
A political slugfest ensued over installation of CCTV cameras in the national capital, with the AAP accusing Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal of "attempting to stall" the project while the opposition BJP slammed the ruling party for "politicising" the issue and "misguiding" the people.
The statement issued by the office of the Lt Governor on the installation of CCTV cameras in residential areas and markets of the city is a "ploy" to create "hurdles" in implementation of this major safety project, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhadwaj alleged.
"Delhi LG is playing with safety of residents by attempting to stall the CCTV camera project," he charged.
However, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal government, alleging that it was not serious on the issue.
"It wants to prolong this as a political issue and benefit the companies connected with the party by awarding contract to them," he alleged.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today gave a go ahead to the CCTV camera project in a meeting and directed officials to bring it before the cabinet within a week.
He has also asserted that police permission is not needed for installation of CCTV cameras.
Yesterday, Kejriwal had said "no mandatory permission" should be required from police to install CCTV cameras, and tore apart the report of a committee set up by the LG on working out guidelines for installation and monitoring of surveillance cameras.
"The report states 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 whether CCTV cameras are needed or not," he had claimed.
However, the LG office, in a statement, had claimed that the rules were in a draft stage and the committee formed under the Principal Secretary (Home) has only prescribed a reporting mechanism for CCTVs and not a licensing mechanism.
The reasons being given by the office of the Delhi LG to justify "licence raj" are "baseless" and "lack" any reasonable justification, Bhardwaj insisted.
BJP's Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, however, accused the Delhi government of launching "propaganda" against the proposed regulations of CCTV camera system at public places to "cover-up" its "failure" in implementing the project despite being in power for three and a half years.
"Who told the CM that license is required for installation of CCTV camera?" he asked.
The chief minister is "fanning the sentiments" of public, resident welfare associations and market associations by showing fear of "licence raj, Gupta alleged, adding, "He (Kejriwal) is feeding them (people) with baseless allegations and false information for political gains.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 10:05 PM IST

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