KARACHI: The Sindh Government Saturday decided to install 20000 day and night vision cameras at 5776 polling station to monitor the entire polling process right from start of the polling to its completion and counting of the votes.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Caretaker Chief Minister Fazal-ur-Rehman. All the caretaker cabinet members, Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman, IGP Sindh Amjad Javed Saleemi, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Information Qazi Shahid Pervez, Secretary GA Zulfiqar Shah, and other concerned secretaries, Chairman National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) Brigadier Taufiq Ahmed and others.
The chief minister said that in the last cabinet meeting keeping view the shortage of time [election 2018] had approved exemption from operation of Sindh Public Procurement Rules 2009 regarding procurement of equipment and services for video surveillance system for highly sensitive polling stations.
He said that the surveillance of all the polling stations was very necessary to make the system of polling station right from the start of the polling process to the end and then counting and sealing of the bags [votes]. “Since the amount [funds] involved in the procurement of the CCTV and other required equipments was very high, therefore I had assigned the task to the chief secretary to negotiate with the NRTC so that the entire project could be commissioned at minimum cost,” he told the cabinet.
Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman said that NRTC had offered a rate of Rs1 million cost per polling station for the purchase of CCTV camera. “Hence, for 4154 polling stations cost comes to Rs4.154 billion,” he said and added later the home department estimated a revised cost for 5000 polling stations to Rs1.79 billion for purchase of CCTV camera system.
The chief secretary further said that in consultation with the chief minister he decided to the acquisition of CCTV camera system on rental basis.
The chief secretary said that the NRTC came up with a fresh proposal of Rs915 million, excluding GST for 5000 polling stations comprising 15000 CCTV cameras. He added that he constituted a four-member committee comprising Secretary General Administration (GA) department Zulfikar Shah, Home Secretary Mohammad Haroon, Secretary IT, Director IT and a representative of NRTC.
Secretary GA Zulfiqar Shah briefing the cabinet said that after detailed negotiations with NRTC the committee was able to bring down the rates from Rs915 million to Rs575 million, including GST. He added that the additional concessions were also obtained from the NRTC which include the number of sensitive polling stations was increased from 5000 to 5776, the number of CCTV cameras in the negotiated price were increased from 15000 to 20,000 cameras and 30 percent of all the CCTV cameras and video recorder would become the property of Sindh government after completion of the task.
Chairman NRTC Brigadier Taufiq Ahmed through a presentation told the cabinet that 20,000 [cameras] day and night Vision of 2MP HD cameras would be installed at 5776 polling stations and each polling would have the coverage of three CCTV cameras.
He said that there would be 5776 Video Recorders (VR-4, IU), 5776 Hard Disk Drive each one of 2 TB for recording, 5776 LCD Screen and 5776 One KV UPS each one with 1x200AH Wet Battery.
The cabinet appreciated the efforts of the chief secretary and his team for reducing the cost of the CCTV project.
The cabinet approved the project and the Chairman NRTC told the cabinet that the work would be started from July 2 and after installation of all cameras, their accessories and other equipments, including back up system and training of the concerned staff would be handed over to Election Commission of Pakistan on May 23.