Half Of Security Cameras In Lahore Go Offline Due To Financial Crisis
Following a conflict between the Punjab’s bureaucracy and police over the ownership of the Rs17 billion mega project of Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA), half of CCTV cameras in Lahore have stopped functioning.
Official sources say almost 50 per cent (4,000) CCTV cameras are offline at a time when Lahore prepares to host some games of the Pakistan Super League and possibly the Bangladesh cricket team matches. Number of mosques, churches, and temples are at risk as a result of non-functioning CCTVs. The E-Challan system has also stopped working.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the PSCA cameras are not functioning even at prime locations like Faisal Chowk, Regal Chowk, Ali Hajvery shrine and surroundings of the Lahore High Court where terror attacks had been carried out in the past,” the official said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar had approved a supplementary grant of Rs. 1.49 billion for PSCA, however, the finance department has disbursed only Rs. 200 million so far. As a result, PSCA’s operations, especially the CCTVs, have been stopped.
The tussle between Punjab police and bureaucracy peaked when the latter secretly made a move to bring PSCA under its authority by amending the rules. Last year in April, the home department forwarded the summary to CM Punjab.
However, Punjab cabinet obstructed bureaucracy’s effort and directed the Punjab police to keep managing the operations of PSCA as per previously agreed arrangements. Ever since that day, PSCA has faced all sorts of financial and administrative challenges.