The Assam Government has introduced a bill in the state Assembly that makes it mandatory for owners of public spaces to install CCTV cameras. The proposed legislation is aimed at ensuring public safety by reducing crime in areas that see public congregation, including commercial places, industrial establishments, religious places, educational institutions, government buildings, sports complexes, and residential buildings.
The "Assam Public Safety (Measures) Enforcement Bill, 2023," was introduced in the House by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Ashok Singhal. The bill mandates the use of surveillance equipment, such as CCTV cameras, in public spaces and the owner of such places has to install the devices within a stipulated period. The surveillance footage has to be stored for 30 days and made available to the government when required.
The bill requires these measures to be implemented within a year from the commencement of the Act or before the next date of renewal of the business establishment's license, whichever is earlier. Failing to comply with the provisions will initially attract a monetary fine for the first two months, after which the premise will be sealed temporarily by the authorities.
According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the use of data available with the government from its own sources will assist in creating a safe public environment across the state. The proposed legislation is expected to serve as a bulwark against crime and ensure public safety in public spaces.
The introduction of this bill is a significant step towards improving public safety and curbing criminal activities in Assam. The use of CCTV cameras in public spaces has been successful in other parts of the world, and it is hoped that the installation of surveillance equipment in Assam will help reduce crime and improve the safety of citizens.
It remains to be seen how the proposed legislation will be received by the public, but it is clear that the Assam Government is taking steps to ensure the safety of its citizens. The use of CCTV cameras is just one of many measures that can be implemented to improve public safety, and it is hoped that this bill will be the first step towards a safer and more secure future for Assam.
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