Consider this: A person waiting to board the bus and listening to music. During the wait, a motorcycle borne miscreant snatches his gold chain, jumps a signal, shoots him point blank and then vamooses like a raging bull on his bike. This is what happens in many parts of our country. Crime, violence, fear, traffic violations, law and order problem–the significant challenges, faced by our most populated state—Uttar Pradesh—is home to a staggering 21 crore residents.
Abysmally, there are merely 78 policemen per lakh of people as against UN recommended ratio of 222 policemen. To add worry to woe, the police force is armed with insufficient and outdated resources that are scattered over the sprawling 2.5 lakh-square kilometre area.
“Our objective was to improve the safety and security of citizens and improve the cases which are being investigated,” says Jasbir Solanki, Head, Homeland security, Mahindra Defence.
Partnering with UP police, Mahindra Defence designed and implemented the surveillance network comprising of 280 IP CCTVs, 40 Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, Video Analytics, and Command Control Centre. These were built with the singular objective of controlling crime in the city, the 70 locations that the project covers in Lucknow includes entry and exit points into the city along with VVIP areas as well as critical and sensitive locations.
Vehicles that enter or exit Lucknow will fall under the surveillance of these cameras and details of those belonging to wrongdoers can be recorded on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition and remain on a server for a year. This project is titled—Drishthi. (Meaning sight, in Hindi).
Have you ever thought about a technology that keeps a vigilant eye on traffic violators and criminals? Well, it is APNR technology.
How does the Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology work?
Automated Number Plate Recognition is an automated system for vehicle monitoring at critical locations. It captures license plate photographs of vehicles, converts them into alpha-numeric text through a software called Optimal Character recognition and stores them in its database, which is at the Command Control Center.
Also, Local Processing Units are installed at 70 cross ends. The captured license plate photographs of the vehicles are stored in the Local Processing Unit (LPU). “All cameras are connected to the units because when the networks are down, the data is stored in the LPR and when connectivity is restored, data flows back to the data base in the server room,” explains Solanki.
Interestingly, at the Command control Center, there are six operators and 2 supervisors who monitor the feeds which come to the control room. “For example – if a rally is on near Vidhan Sabha, then designated operators observe the recording to check, if the proceedings are smooth,” says Solanki.
ANPR is significantly robust as it can detect and read license plates which may have unusual characteristics like different sized characters, style fonts, colors.
With a good amount of vigour, Jasbeer said that the cameras are also capable of capturing and recognizing license plates both from the front and from the rear of the vehicle.
In addition, Video Analytics is an added feature. Pixels are identified as video analytics and camera is configured. “We can fix its view and then apply the type of analytics one wants. For example – if is an unidentified bag lies near Chief Minister’s residence with configured pixel requirements, then alerts are sent to the CCR,” says Solanki.
After the project went live, Mahindra defence have had a marvellous run. Now with Mahindra’s Defence Smart Surveillance projects, a safe and secure environment is here now. There has been a significant reduction in crime rates. Durgesh Kumar, Additional Superintendent, UP Police, exclaimed triumphantly, “the crime rates have come down by 30 percent and the public feels more safe and secure.”
He also added that it has also improved the traffic scenario, and many e-challans have been issued. From the day of official launch, 500 electronic challans have been issued to traffic offenders.
Mahindra Defence started the project on 5th September 2014 and completed it on 24th March, 2015 and it is a three year project for installation, supply and commissioning. The amount spent on the project is 40 crores.
With more than half the global population today living in urban areas, safe city is progressively being considered important in ensuring secure living and prosperity. Isn’t this technology undeniably cool??