Low spending curtails Chidu’s favorite project

India’s desire to link all police stations is yet to find favour with state govts.

Pankaj Sharma/Zee Research Group

India’s desire to link all its police stations under the centrally funded Rs 2000 crore ‘Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)’ project is yet to find favour with various state governments in the country.

The project launched in June 2009 post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is stipulated to be implemented in early 2012. However, a ZRG analysis of official data computed by the Home Ministry to review the CCTNS project found out that only 27 per cent of funds earmarked had been spent by state governments until October 31.

This in all likeliness might delay the CCTNS launch resulting in continued police vulnerability in the face of a terror attack. However, the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), which is the nodal agency for implementing the project, remains unfazed. NK Tripathi, Director General, NCRB, admitted to low funding levels by states but expressed confidence that the project would be on schedule.

Barring integration of police stations the mission mode CCTNS project under e-governance plan also aims at automating the functioning of police stations, providing technology to facilitate the investigation of crime and detection of criminals.

According to the recently updated state progress dashboard by NCRB, among all states Orissa stood last in spending the funds with only 3.54 per cent of funds used so far. Pondicherry and Uttar Pradesh also scored badly with 8.23 per cent and 11.41 per cent utilization respectively. Delhi, the seat of power, fared little better with 14.73 per cent fund utilization.

Crime sensitive states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Bihar were also placed low in fund utilization tally. While Andhra Pradesh utilized 17.63 per cent of funds allocated, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat followed with 19.40 per cent and 20.93 per cent respectively. West Bengal and Bihar utilized 22.69 per cent and 26.16 per cent funds respectively.

However, NCRB’s Tripathi defended the low spending by state governments. He said, “We are absolutely satisfied with the work progress as things are still settling in a prescribed order. Tenders have already been finalized in seven states for hiring a system integrator who would be the single point of contact for all the components of CCTNS in state.”

Kerala figured as one state which utilized a maximum of 64.24 per cent of funds released by the Centre. Tamil Nadu and Mizoram also spent 55.29 per cent and 51.64 per cent funds allocated to them respectively.

Expecting increase in utilization of funds and accomplishment of the project in the next few months, Tripathi added, “We are expecting more than 80 per cent of the funds to be used by February and the entire project to be finished by 31st March 2012 as per schedule.”

The pilot testing of the project is under progress in Kerala, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

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