The Telegraph
Thursday , February 20 , 2014
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Safe streets on back of third eye project

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday inaugurated a state-of-the-art control room from where activities in Patna would be monitored.

Of 160 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to be installed in the city, 100 have been installed at strategic locations such as Dakbungalow roundabout and Fraser Road. With the high-tech monitoring centre becoming functional, the main roads have come under the surveillance project with the data being observed and stored.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said: “Installation of around 160 CCTV cameras would improve the level of policing in the city and would curb crime.”

The new facility also involves video analytics (analysis of the video feed) tracking vehicles moving at a high speed or at unusually low speed. The facility can capture a vehicle’s number plate and send an alert to the nearest police check post. The security features have also been enhanced such that if an individual enters an important building or area with a backpack, but leaves in sometime leaves without it, the video analytics would automatically alert the security personnel.

A police officer deputed at the control room (on premises of Patna Police Hospital near Gandhi Maidan) said the alert would come along with a close-up photograph of the person concerned.

Around 140 PCR (police control room) vans equipped with GPRS and improvement of the “dial 100” facility at the district control rooms has come under the security paraphernalia.

These initiatives have seen Patna being included in a list of 15 safe cities in the country based on surveillance with the help of technology. The list, prepared by the Union ministry of science and technology, includes Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Atul Sinha, managing director, Beltron — the executing agency of the safe-city project for Bihar — said: “Now, Patna figures among the 15 safe cities, which have been covered with CCTV cameras.”

The high-quality CCTV cameras has a capacity to zoom up to 300m-400m and can also rotate 360 degrees.

Recently, use of technology on the city roads helped police crack a kidnapping case within 13.5 hours. Fourteen-year-old Shivam Khandelwal, the son of a Patna businessman, was rescued on February 8 after being kidnapped and taken to Ara the evening before. Nitish said: “The cameras helped the police a lot in solving crimes such as kidnapping within a short time.”

The SSP revealed that the city surveillance project would cover Saguna Mor in the west and Fatuha in the east. “The installation of the CCTV cameras is on and would be completed in the next couple of months,” Maharaaj said.

The exercise is aimed at reducing the police response time and expediting effective action. “Each CCTV camera is equipped with a back-up and is linked and controlled by the command station,” he added.

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