Bhagirathi Palace, Delhi’s largest electronics market, there was a glut of cameras as they are cheap. One shop owner, Vijay Sethi, told that the price of a device ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 3,500.
A huge controversy has erupted in the capital over about 1.4 lakh Chinese CCTV cameras installed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. This controversy has emerged at a time when anti-China sentiments are on the rise across the country after the Galvan Valley conflict.
The Center has taken several measures to keep Chinese companies away from Indian projects. On Monday, India banned 59 mobile apps (mostly Chinese) mobile apps. These include TikTok, We Chat. This step was taken because of the security threat.
The CCTV cameras installed in the national capital are made by the Chinese company Hikvision. Experts say that thousands of people have downloaded the firm’s mobile application on their phones in Delhi which is a big risk related to surveillance, BJP has targeted the AAP government on this issue. Also demanded immediate remedial steps in this regard. To this, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal immediately responded, “This is all politics.”
Cybersecurity expert Anuj Aggarwal said, ” There is no threat from CCTV cameras alone, but when people download Hikvision’s iVMS-4500 app to watch live feeds on their mobile phones, it poses a threat.” Aggarwal added, “The app can be easily accessed from any company official in China or the government or the army there.
In such hostile situations, they can see what is happening on the streets of Delhi. These cameras do not have any security fees to prevent such encroachments, they can be easily pierced. “
Cyberlaw expert Pawan Duggal says in this regard, “Hikvision’s CCTV cameras have been installed in various government and government premises. People are happy that they are getting feeds on their mobile phones. But this feed is also a reason to worry.
This feed is also going to China and it can potentially reach the Chinese Army as well. ” Duggal said, “If this is happening, it will have an impact not only on you but also on India as a nation.” This is a good game plan for China. China recognized the importance of cybersecurity long ago. “
When cybersecurity India Today turned to Bhagirathi Palace, Delhi’s largest electronics market, there was a glut of cameras as they are cheap. One shop owner, Vijay Sethi, told that the price of a device ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 3,500. Till then. Sethi said, “Almost all of them come from China. In the current situation, traders want the goods coming from China to stop and Indian brands are encouraged.”
According to recent reports, the US has said that Hikvision and 19 other firms are owned or controlled by the Chinese military. The Trump administration has banned government agencies from buying from Hikvision.
Hikvision is one of the world’s largest video surveillance companies that produce both hardware and software tools. The company has also been banned in some European countries for its alleged involvement with the Chinese military and government.
How the project started
In July last year, the AAP government directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to quickly buy 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras for installation in Delhi and surrounding residential and commercial complexes to fulfill its election promise. This was in addition to the 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras installed by the Delhi government across the capital.
The objective of the Rs 571 crore project was to install at least 4,000 cameras in each of the 70 assembly constituencies in Delhi. Also, Rs 400 crore was spent on installing such cameras in 1,000 government schools in Delhi. Earlier, 4,388 CCTV cameras monitored by Delhi Police were installed in police stations, court premises, markets, and other sensitive areas.
Hikvision received a tender from the Delhi government to install 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras in 2018. This company has also been listed as a vendor by Bharat Electronics (BEL). BEL is an undertaking for the Government of India working on highly sensitive and classified defense projects.
In Delhi, the opposition has demanded an immediate break with Hikvision and to remove its app. Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, “Ironically, the server is also located in China. Based on the feed and data of these cameras, they can be seen everywhere in the national capital. The Delhi government is saying that they have given BEL The contract was given, but they should answer why China-made cameras were installed. “
Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana said, “Recently, CM Kejriwal said that India is fighting a double battle against China – one on the border and the other against Coronavirus. In such a situation, Chinese companies should be pushed out because they are a threat to national security. “
Congress had already raised an objection
Congress had raised this issue in May last year before the commencement of this ambitious project. The Congress accused the AAP government of “compromising national security” by awarding the contract to Hikvision. The then Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken demanded Kejriwal’s resignation on the issue.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal told Aaj Tak / India Today on Monday, “This is all politics. I don’t want to get involved in this. We had given a contract to BEL, a public sector undertaking of the Government of India. What they are buying is their business.” “Commenting on this is still completely connected to politics.” Today on Monday TV He also said that after the Galvan incident more steps should be taken to reduce dependence on Chinese goods.