Telangana Police to begin online monitoringof air passengers through TSCOP

A scene at DD Colony of Hyderabad during the lockdown by the government to prevent COVID-19 pandemic.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

In the next two to three days, Telangana police would start online monitoring of the movements of all persons who had flown into Hyderabad from different parts of the world in the backdrop of increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Details of international air passengers became crucial for the government since a majority of the coronavirus positive cases reported so far directly or indirectly involved them. Central intelligence agencies passed on details of all international air passengers who landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad from March 1.

Some from neighbouring states

“We have details of close to 22,000 international air passengers with us. They are being located based on their passport addresses,” a police officer unwilling to be named said. Inquiries revealed that not all of them were residing in Telangana. Police believe a considerable number of these 22,000 passengers belonged to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

After landing in Hyderabad, they are said to have gone to their homes in these States. Despite serious efforts, Telangana police could not trace nearly 10,000 of them. However, addresses of nearly 12,000 passengers had been traced and their co-ordinates are being geo-tagged by the respective local police patrolling teams.

Patrolling teams to monitor

District-wise details of the passengers had been passed on to Police, Revenue and Health Department officials. A local police patrolling team would go to the address, upload details of the passengers in their tabs. The data would be synchronised with TSCOP, a mobile application of Telangana Police. Everyday local police patrolling teams would visit the address, collect details of the person and alert the higher authorities in case of any emergency or developments.

In fact, a Hyderabad-based software developing company approached the Telangana High Court by filing a PIL petition stating that it had developed a mobile app to monitor COVID-19 cases. To make use of the app, the air passengers need to download the app in their mobile phones so that their movements can be tracked.

Updating TSCOP App

“All passengers are unlikely to agree to download a new app citing privacy reasons. In a first step towards online monitoring of air passengers, we are updating the TSCOP app,” police officials said. Identifying high risk zones would be made easier with the geo-tagging of addresses of the passengers, they added.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:18:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/telangana-police-to-start-online-monitoring/article31171889.ece

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