NEW DELHI: Better street lighting, CCTV cameras and more public toilets would help to ensure safety and security of women in the city, the Delhi High Court has said.
The observation was made when the police told the high court that there are 118 vulnerable locations in the city for which about 587 CCTVs were required to be installed, but their procurement and installation would take a lot of time.
Asserting that lack of funds should not be cited as an excuse for not ensuring cameras, lighting and public amenities, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and P S Teji said there was a "grave urgency" for taking such steps and if sufficient funds were not available with the agencies, it will direct that money is drawn from the Nirbhaya and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan funds.
The bench asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain to take instructions on this aspect and listed the matter for further hearing on December 4.
In view of the submission by the police, the court directed that since the Aman Vihar area in west Delhi was "statistically shown to be highly vulnerable to children going missing", cameras be set up there "on priority" as a test case, as minor children were often "enslaved and forced into begging and flesh trade".
According to the police, represented by its standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Tushar Sannu, in the last two years, in Aman Vihar alone, there were 389 cases of missing children, of which 99, including 71 girls, are still untraced.
Besides, 801 adults were also reported missing from the area during the same period and of those 414 – including 206 women – are yet to be traced, police had told the bench.
Taking note of the "alarmingly" large number of missing cases of minors and adults in the area, the court has said it "reflects an extremely poor state of affairs" there.
It set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by DCP Crime Joy Tirkey, to probe whether any organised mafia was involved in these disappearances and if yes, to "identify and dissolve" such groups.
Besides the police, the court also directed the Principal Secretary or Director (Local Bodies) to examine the public amenities in Aman Vihar, which, according to the authorities, had only one public toilet.