The Cam-Scam Hullabaloo

The Bombay Government has recently sworn to install 6000 CCTV cameras at a cost of 950 crore’s. owing to the way everything works with the, the Delhi government in their typical “bhed chaal” manner recently committed to installing 15 lakh cameras across the country in order to make it a more safe and secure city for all walks of life. Especially, women.

A simple mathematical calculation can tell one, if 6000 cameras costs 950 crores, 15 lak would cost much, much more. And as a simple mathematical solution would have it, 15 lakh camera network works out to about Rs. 2.37 lakh crores. Yes, you read that right. If this was not enough to surprise you – here comes another shocker – Delhi’s total GDP is four lakh crore and it wants to spend more than 50% of that on surveillance.

One may wonder why. The answer to that is- Delhi CM, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal made a promise to safeguard the women of Delhi. Having seen events of the recent past, it’s clear to see that, that is not happening. While, doing this could actually bring about a revolution in safety standards in India. But in real time, it will be an absolutely impractical decision on the government’s part. To spend more than 50% of the GDP just to prove a point. Won’t take a genius to understand that Delhi would have barely anything left over to pay for roads, electricity, water, health and other things one would consider necessary for basic living

Delhi has 180 police stations and almost 100,000 police personnel. Assuming one cop can watch 10 cameras at a time, 1.5 lakh cops are required to monitor CCTV footage. And, assuming they can only do so for 8 hours a day, you need three times that number, which means  4.5 lakh cops  are needed  to provide 24-hour monitoring. In nutshell, CM Kejriwal needs to more than quadruple the size of the force to make his plan effective.

Earlier this year, Delhi government’s budget estimate for the year 2015-16 was Rs 41,129 crore and if we go by their poll promise then they intend to spend more than five times of that on installing a network of CCTV cameras.

I think Mr. Kejriwal can do with a lesson or two on how to manage finances. At the end of the day, the money that get’s spent in unnecessarily is actually the taxes going out of the common man’s pocket and none of us want to incur the loss of an ill-planned budget. Here’s hoping that better sense prevails!



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