KARACHI    -    Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved a proposal to set up the Sindh Safe City Authority and a forensic commission.

Fate of the two projects has been hanging in balance for the last some months. Shah took this decision on Thursday while presiding over a high-level meeting at Chief Minister’s House to discuss and decide implementation of two projects, safe city project and the forensic lab.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Minister for IT Taimore Talpur, Chairperson of the P&D Nahid Shah, Sindh Police IG Dr Kaleem Imam, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Home Secretary Qazi Kabir, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shahlwani, Additional IG for Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, DIGs, experts and officials.

Sindh Police IG Dr Kaleem Imam told the chief minister that feasibility study for the Sindh Safe City Project has been approved by the government for Rs10 million and preparation of PC-I was in progress. He said the safe city project was huge and would be taken up after completion of its feasibility.

The chief minister was told that there were 25,000 CCTV cameras installed at different locations in the city and were being monitored through a command and control centre established at IG Office.

It was pointed out that a scheme of Rs200 million was launched to install 10,000 CCTV cameras at different locations in the city and in other division headquarters of the city. The government has allocated Rs10 million for the current financial year.

Murad said that it was a huge project therefore the Sindh Safe City Authority should be established first so that it could implement various components of the project, including CCTV installation through its expertise. He added that at present the project was being handled by IT department of the provincial government and IT wing of the police department. “Neither it is expertise of the home department nor any other one, therefore an independent authority with a DG should be established first,” he said.

Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah said that draft of Safe City Authority was presented in the cabinet which constituted its committee under Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh to review the draft law. The committee has suggested some changes in the law which would be presented in the next cabinet meeting for approval. The chief minister directed Home Secretary Qazi Kabir to finalise and firm up the recommendations made by the cabinet committee and get them approved from the cabinet for sending it to assembly.

Home Secretary Kazi Kabir briefing the chief minister said that 30 acres of land have been acquired for establishment of Forensic Science Lab in Deh Jorejio, taluka Bin Qasim, malir Karachi. The project would be completed in three years.

The main services to be offered by Forensic Lab include audio visual analysis; computer forensic, crime scene and death scene investigation, DNA and serology, forensic photography, narcotics, toxicology, trace chemistry, polygraph, fire arms and tool masks, latent finger prints; pathology; questioned documents and explosive lab.

The IG police said that the Sindh police have already established forensic facilities in Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkana. In these labs firearms unit; questioned documents unit, fingerprints unit; vehicle examination unit; digital forensic unit; specialized crime scene units and one mobile forensic units were operational.

At present DNA serology facility in Sindh is available at Liaquat University, Jamshoro. It was established in 2015. During the period of last four years the lab analyzed 1000 cases, of them 60 percent were received from Karachi and 33 percent from other districts of Sindh and also from Balochistan.

In the meeting it was pointed that another 30 acres of land was required for Forensic Academy and yet another 30 acres for hostel, residential colony. Last year the provincial government has released Rs220 million and were deposited in the account of the project.  The chief minister said that this project of Forensic Lab has also become a major project. Therefore, Sindh Forensic Commission may be constituted so that it could launch and complete the project with required expertise.  The chief minister directed Chief Secretary to work out all the requirements for establishment of Forensic commission and report in the next cabinet meeting.