Fund crunch put vital police projects on hold

Pending Surveillance project could have helped track down bus, rapists on night of crime; cops got just 46% of funds required.

Had the Delhi Police's much-awaited surveillance project been implemented, the bus, in which a 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on Sunday, could have been stopped soon after the crime. If it had materialised, the project could have helped police arrest the rapists on the night of the crime itself. A fund crunch, however, has put several of Delhi Police's modernisation projects on hold.

According to sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had asked for Rs 1,13,575 crore under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), but the Planning Commission sanctioned Rs 52,839 crore — merely 46 per cent of MHA's requirement.

The Delhi Police had asked MHA for Rs 4,028 crore in order to complete various projects and for its new security and modernisation projects. The MHA approved just Rs 1,874 crore.

Sources said the budget cut has forced the Delhi Police to drop at least 27 of 72 important projects that were lined up for the 12th Plan. Many new development schemes are also expected to be scrapped due to lack of funds, police sources said.

Ambitious projects of the Delhi Police, such as city surveillance, building of police training institutes, induction of latest technology and capacity-building, modernisation of traffic and communication network, housing for personnel, security-related projects, intelligent traffic system, signals, new police stations, are expected to be further delayed.

Delhi Police has installed 1,975 CCTV cameras in Delhi. A proposal to install 4,000 CCTV cameras is in the pipeline, police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said on Tuesday. Police have also asked the MHA for 370 new vehicles to phase out old PCR vehicles.

Many projects have been put on hold till 2017, till the 13th Five Year Plan. A source said, "Many projects have been derailed because of last-minute budget cuts. No new schemes or projects slated for this Plan will be taken up."

Another source said, "It also means that all major projects for this Five Year Plan will be taken up only in the 13th Plan. This will delay development a great deal. The government is also asking all departments to reduce the number of schemes due to shortage of funds."

The Delhi Police wanted Rs 606.21 crore for modernisation of traffic and communication network, but only Rs 282.03 crore was sanctioned. It wanted Rs 2,401.48 crore for its building programme, but was given Rs 1,117.25 crore. The project for induction of latest technology and capacity building needs Rs 28.09 crore, but got only Rs 13.07 crore. The police had asked for Rs 992.58 crore for its housing scheme, but was granted just Rs 461.13 crore.

The slashed budget is expected to affect all security forces under the MHA.

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