Islamabad - The project infrastructure of Safe City Project Islamabad is complete and under commissioning test and it is all set to be commissioned in April.

The Safe City Project, Islamabad was negotiated and signed in 2009 at a total cost of US $124.975 million. The implementation was withheld due to legal proceedings. On conclusion of litigation, the project was re-initiated in 2014 without any cost escalation.

The information provided by Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control yesterday revealed that the present government has negotiated a substantial increase in scope of the project without adding to project cost. Some of additions include number of cameras has been increased from 1500 to 1950, the Command Centre area has been increased from 2000 sq meter to almost 2900 sq meter while 1500 handheld and vehicle based communication sets have also been included.

Similarly, in addition to facial detection system, camera based facial recognition software has been included, video summary software has been added and LTE (4G) technology has been acquired. The ministry said the present government ensured that no cost escalation is allowed even after a lapse of five years of initial signing. Integration of vehicle registration database with safe city is also being carried out.

Up to now a total of Rs 9.53 billion as cost of project and Rs 4 billion on account of duties and taxes have been expended.

Meanwhile, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has spent around Rs 83 millions on animals of the Margazar Zoo during last three fiscal years.

According to documents available, the civic body has spent Rs 83 million amount on feeding, food and medicines of animals in Islamabad Zoo, it is pertinent to mention here the various cages of animals are empty from last six years.

The detail of funds allocated for this purpose is 2013-2014 Rs 30 million, 2014-2015 Rs 40 million and 2015-2016 Rs 13.200 million. Marghazar Zoo that is considered as an important recreational spot for the visitors and children in the federal capital is losing its attraction due to decreasing number of mammals and attractive species.

At present, the various cages of the animals like lions, tigers and leopards, brown bear, crocodile are empty. A number of people across the country daily visit the capital zoo but their response remain unsatisfactory when they see the empty cages there.

Capital Development Authority (CDA) claim to re-vamp the zoo with the cooperation of World Wildlife Funds (WWF) but no action was taken in this regard. The visitors have urged the authorities to bring more and attractive species to the zoo to attract visitors.

A visitor Alyia Khan observed that addition of more animals should be given priority as animals were the main centre of attraction of the zoo. She said the lion had not been brought yet after the long spell of ten years adding that more animals reportedly had died in recent years.

Animals including monkey, bear, wolf and crocodile have died.

In October last year the CDA had decided to revamp the Zoo in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other bodies of wildlife conservation for providing additional facilities for better upkeep of the wildlife in Marghazar Zoo but it still presenting ugly picture.