"The cost is a bit pricey", the Delhi High Court declared on Wednesday, May 20, rejecting a proposal made by Delhi Police to install 6,630 CCTV cameras in 44 red-flagged areas of the national capital at a cost of Rs 404.32 crore, Business Standard reports.
A division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said it would not give its "stamp of approval" to the project, remarking "Rs 404 crore for the CCTV cameras seems to be on the upper side, to say the least."
While posting the matter for further consideration for July 29, the bench also remarked Delhi Police were "more interested" in putting up CCTV cameras "as it involves money."
The court's observation came after advocate Meera Bhatia said that the Delhi Police, in an affidavit, claimed that a survey was carried out by Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd. (BECIL) in all the 44 areas to identify spots where CCTV cameras could be installed.
A field study conducted by BECIL in consultation with the respective joint commissioners of police and other concerned officers was taken up in vulnerable areas where crimes against women were on the rise.
The survey projected a tentative cost of Rs 404.32 crore for all accessories, cameras and apparatuses etc. required for the installation of 6,630 CCTV systems.
On the basis of the project report, a proposal for obtaining administrative approval and expenditure sanction of the competent authority during the current financial year 2015-16 was sent to the home ministry, Delhi Police counsel Rajesh Mahajan told the court.
Police said the process of installing the CCTVs in the identified areas will be taken up immediately on the approval from the central government.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) initiated by it after the December 16, 2012, gang rape.
An application filed by advocate Bhatia said the CCTV cameras installed for US President Barack Obama's security during his Republic Day 2015 visit should not be removed.