The city is under watch. In a major step towards police modernization, Kolkata Police has formally launched the City Surveillance System (CSS) that will cover 150 major traffic intersections.
Beefing up the security of the city
Started as a pilot project in 2012, the CSS now has 400 cameras, including some PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) and some infra-red ones. Another 100 cameras are likely to be added in the next one month covering some of the less important points.
Inspecting the CSS room on November 1, 2013, chief minister Mamata Banerjee stressed that the security cover now available in Kolkata will soon be spread to other commissionerates like Howrah and Asansol.
The traffic police have also introduced a free mobile app for citizens which can be downloaded from Google Play Store. Citizens can immediately upload photos of traffic violations and even traffic refusals on which the cops promise to take action. The system is already in place in Delhi. The cops are arranging for live streaming in future that will help them take real time action.
CSS upgrade on the cards
Kolkata Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha said they would be adding new features to CSS. "We are trying to introduce a software that will help us read vehicle number plates. We also plan to integrate the CCTV networks installed with private assistance - like the one in Alipore - and integrate it with CSS," he added.
Surajit Kar Purkayastha pointed out the benefits of this system. "The whole idea is to analyze not only the traffic flow, but also try and devise ways to reduce the number of accidents and ensure free movement of vehicles. The fatal squad of traffic police is also using the footage as evidence in court," he said.
Participation from citizens
Kolkata Police will start the cluster surveillance system in some significant areas of the city with financial aid from the local Citizen's forums and local business organizations. The areas to be covered with this safety measure are Park Street, Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street, Bhawanipore and Kalighat.
A similar initiative was launched in New Alipore area where the citizens came together to install CCTV cameras in the area, with active participation and help from the Kolkata Police. Keeping the Christmas and new-year celebrations in mind, the Kolkata Police has planned to introduce the CSS before December.
Citizen's forum in Shakespeare Sarani area is ready to give financial support. Right now, seven high-resolution cameras will be installed in this zone and will have a recording field of up to 150 m distance. The next destination will be Park Street.
These two areas are hotspots of the city famous for their nightlife and should be kept under constant watch. Both the places house several nightclubs, bars, hotels and many governmental and private offices. Add to that several posh residential complexes and consulates of other countries; the area deserves to under constant surveillance.
Kalighat and Bhowanipore are important residential areas too. Bhowanipore comprises large number of government run and private hospitals. Kalighat houses the famous Kali temple where hundreds of devotees throng everyday from different parts of India. The temple also draws foreign tourists. It is also the residential area of our Chief Minister. Bhowanipore Gujarati society has come forward to support the project.
Other places in Kolkata will also be gradually brought into the fold of this security system; this requires assistance and participation from common citizens.
Team M3.tv hopes the constant vigil will bring down the crime rate in the city, specially those against women.