How secure is Nehru Place?

DQC Bureau
New Update

New Delhi: In a sensational revelation, after the arrest of terrorist who are said to have planted bombs in the Delhi serial blasts, Delhi Police has claimed that Nehru Place was on the radar of the terrorist. In a press conference, Delhi Police officials had claimed that the suspected terrorists had planned to plant almost 20 bombs in the biggest IT hub of Asia.

While the news had hit the headlines then, a few days later nothing seems to have changed in the IT hub. The security is still non-existent with traders and government bodies each wanting the other to take onus.

The market, which is considered one of the biggest IT hubs in Asia, houses 1,200 IT traders apart from offices of several vendors. So has the community in the IT hub gotten worried about their safety?

While speaking about the measures that Delhi Police is taking to enhance security in Nehru Place, Rakesh Paweriya, ACP, Kalkaji shared that after the recent news of Nehru Place being on the target for terror activities, the police department has become active and decided to install 29 closed circuit television cameras in the market complex within a month.

Taking the oft-repeated stance of minimal resources Paweriya stated, "Delhi Police alone cannot take all the actions. Government has got limited resources and we have to deploy measures in that limit. Delhi Police is taking action but the dealers also have to contribute in enhancing security. There are 98 buildings in the location and if each building owner installs at least two cameras in their building, it will be of immense support for the police to track suspicious activities," he added.

What is surprising is that while the Delhi Police seems to be looking the other way even dealers who are operating from the region are not very concerned about their security. According to Paweriya as of now there no CCTV cameras have been installed in Nehru Place by the Delhi Police, what is surprising is that Nehru Place among others boasts of many players who deal in CCTV cameras and surveillance products.

When The DQ Week spoke to channel partners on random basis in Nehru Place, they accorded that while they have taken measures at their level and try to keep an eye on the movements of visitors in their office premises but the responsibility for mass surveillance should be with the government.

Most dealers when contacted affirmed that while they have installed surveillance in their shops to monitor customer and staff activity, none seem bothered by the general area.

Harish Puri, CEO of Computer Empire shared that he installed CCTV cameras in 13 locations in his office six years back and any suspicious activities by customers are tracked. "It is true that police alone cannot keep check on each corner of Nehru Place and if dealers take measures on their own, it could be big support to the government and for the safety of the channel itself," shared Puri.

However, none of them seem to be willing to track anything beyond their perimeter of their individual establishments. This when the modus operandi in the blasts that shook the country in the last few months clearly show that the bombs were never planted in any shop or establishment premises but in open area so as to cause maximum damage. When contacted about the initiative that the associations are planning to take Saket Kapur, General Secretary, PCAIT (The Progressive Channels Association of Information Technology) said that while it is correct that Delhi Police may not deploy security measures at extensive level but it is a matter of individual security and all building owners, associations and channel partners should take efforts at their respective level. "We have sent a mail to all the members of PCAIT and have requested them to take the issue seriously and with individual capacity. Estate agency and building owners have to play a vital role in this and they both can make effort in tightening the security measures," he said.

Kapur who is also the personal secretary of Vishal Bhawan Flat Owner and Occupancy Welfare Association added, "Immediately after getting the news alert of Nehru Place being targeted for terror attacks we held a meeting with estate managers and Delhi Police and actions are now being taken. Electronic surveillance equipment have been installed in Vishal Bhawan as the first initiative," informed Kapur.

Puneet Singhal, President, CMDA (Computer Media Dealers Association) added that first initiative has to be taken by the government itself and then only all the associations in Nehru Place whether they are in fabric exporter, computers or real estate business can follow the action.

"There are many associations in Nehru Place apart from the IT channel partners, like of real estate dealers or cloth exporters. So, all have to come ahead and take serious steps. There are not many members of CMDA in Nehru Place but we will give all support to the associations existing there. The first kick has to be given by Delhi Police and strong bodies there," Singhal added.

One of the biggest IT vendors in India, Samsung India has its head-office in Nehru Place. When contacted Sanjay Sharma, VP-IT Division, Samsung India, informed that the government has not conveyed any message to the company for seeking support and if required Samsung would provide possible support to Delhi Police. 

The police also held a meeting with Nehru Place Improve and Welfare Association (NIWA) with the objective to sensitize the issue. It urged the building owners in Nehru Place to tighten the safety measures in their respective buildings and take safety measures at their own end.

Anil Kumar Sehgal, President, NIWA said, "Delhi Police held the meeting for issues related to security concerns of Nehru Place. The objective was towards filtering the crowd in the area they assured that squatters and local vendors who have put unauthorized shops at pavements would be removed. Also, it is in process of organizing mock drills in the premises of Nehru Place to take measures when the instances of terror attack takes place."

So clearly while everyone is expecting the government to take onus they are not willing to take any steps to protect their own lives and businesses.