Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cyber Highway for the Capital nodded Home Ministry

Home Minister, P. ChidambaramAs part of its efforts to ensure foolproof security during 2010 Commonwealth Games next year, the Union Home Ministry has approved a special project for setting up of a state-of-the-art dedicated communication network for Delhi Police.

The network — Cyber Highway — will facilitate implementation of convergent services of application, call interception and monitoring system.

The facilities will allow all police stations of the Delhi Police to come under one network leading to easy access of crime and criminal data at the click of a mouse, Home Ministry sources said.

The project also includes video surveillance system, CCTV monitoring, video conferencing and interlinking of all police information.

A dedicated traffic monitoring system will also be part of the Cyber Highway project which will lead to installation of sophisticated cameras in all vital points to help smooth traffic management.

The Home Ministry has also decided to create a Special Task Force (STF) for the overall security of the games village and sports venues, considering the vulnerability of the National Capital Region.

"The STF would be created from the existing resources of Delhi Police for overall security and traffic management," an official said.

There would be proper coordination between the STF, venue security and Delhi Police for intelligence sharing, reinforcement of human and material sources.

The STF also might have to deal with sudden contingency situations requiring assistance of other civic agencies, central police forces or crisis management centers.

Considering the security scenario of the national capital and the forthcoming Games, the sources pointed out that crowded places of Delhi were the prime targets for terrorist activities.

In the backdrop of the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, the Home Ministry last month reviewed the security arrangements for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and favored monitoring the Games village even during construction.

The authorities are mulling tighter security arrangements by ensuring intensified vigil at vantage spots especially the accommodations of players and spectators, sources said.

Senior officials are of the view that terrorists could do some mischief, a fear expressed by a Parliamentary Committee, which found serious lapses in preparations for the mega sporting event.