LAHORE - Lahore Defense Housing Authority is struggling to run its high-tech, foolproof and compact security system to check rising incidents of crime in the locality on the direction of Lahore corps commander, Pakistan Today has learnt. DHA unveiled its security plan in January with fervour causing residents to heave the sigh of relief after a sudden increase in robberies, carjacking, muggings, harassments and threats to lives and wealth. According to the plan, the system to be installed immediately but as February nears its end, only 40 percent of the paraphernalia and plan mechanism have been placed so far. Mega security system, that costs Rs 5 million per month, features 70 new CCTV cameras at all routes and intersections, an addition of 300 new staffers and dogs, 6 supervisors to monitor guards in each phase, shift-basis duty officers, deployment of 20 riders in each sector, two minute reaction time to crime site, establishment of dog centres and setting up central control room in Z block.
With the execution of system, DHA also decided to barricade more than 30 routes from 7 pm till dawn to frisk every vehicle travelling in an out of the locality. Accompanied by security guard, two police officials were also to be placed at different locations. “The security situation is still to be improved,” a DHA official said, adding “Efforts are being made to monitor the parks to ensure that only residents are allowed in.”
“DHA has planned to send team of 5 or 6 people to reach crime site in two minutes. Rescue team will besiege the house in spur of moment and would seal all exit points to make escape impossible,” he added. DHA Resident Association (DHRA) President Rohail Ikram told Pakistan Today that the new security system was designed on the proposal of association after DHA security officials took DHRA on board to remove loopholes in the system. “It is highly commendable that DHA administration introduced the new security system but a lot of work needs to be done yet,” he added.
He said DHA neighbourhood system working in the B block as pilot project would be replicated in other blocks and phases. “Thirty motor riders armed with gunmen have started patrolling the locality while 19 more would be added,” he said. He appreciated DHA security officials, saying DHRA vouchsafed honorary shield to Security Deputy Director Maj Khalid for capturing a car-lifter gang. He asked Responding to queries of DHARA, DHA Security Additional Director Lt ® Muhammad Bilal broke the news that new security system would not pass on any cost-sharing burden on resident as DHA would bear all expenses to be incurred on the costly project.
He said Lahore Corps Commander Lt General Rashid Mehmood had issued clear direction to Lahore DHA administration to invest all its energy and potential to make resident feel safe and secure at all cost. Underscoring the salient features of the new security system, he said 70 more CCTV cameras would be installed to add to the 64 that were already present. “We have also ensured round-the-clock patrolling of armed motor riders security guards,” he added. The cameras would help reduce car-snatching and hijacking incidents.
With expanding housing units and addition of new phases in DHA, strength of security staff was not up to mark, Bilal said, adding that this scarcity was being managed by recruitment of 300 new security personnel in coming weeks.
He requested office bearers of DHRA to extend full cooperation to DHA administration by getting their maids registered. “All unregistered maids would be handed over to the police,” he said.
Another DHA official also said that earlier, only four motor riders used to patrol in a phase. But now an armed security guard with motor riders would remain alert to solidify surveillance in residential and commercial sectors, he said. “Security guards would be accompanied by gunmen and each team would be rotated after 8 hours,” he added.
DHA Security Company was established in Jan 2007 to assist the DHA Security Branch in controlling street crimes. Its main objectives were to provide security to DHA by protecting its boundaries and assets through implementation of DHA by-laws, to provide limited assistance to police in providing secure, safe, protective and healthy living environment, to improve Security environment in DHA during night hours, to perform watch and ward duty in the streets by performing following. Its land oriented tasks were to ensure security of purchased land, acquire possession of land to implement court orders, prevention and elimination of encroachments and adverse possession of disputed land.
DHA resident robbed of
A gang of robbers took away cash, jewellery and other valuables worth more than Rs 5 million from a house in DHA on Saturday-Sunday night. According to details, Sohail Ahmad, a resident of Defence K-Block, had gone to visit his relatives with his family when robbers broke the locks of his house and took off with gold ornaments worth 60 tolas, cash and other valuables. Ahmad told the police that robbers took away gold, cash and other valuables he had purchased for the dowry of his two daughters who were to get married soon. He demanded of the provincial government to give him compensation for his loss and to nab the culprits.