‘Live remote monitoring’ to address civic issues to roll out soon

Residents want a say in selecting areas for camera surveillance

The smart city project for addressing civic issues by systematic analysis of data collected by the Chennai Corporation and other civic agencies through ‘live remote monitoring’ is set to roll out shortly.

There have been demands that the Corporation must ensure that local residents in each area have a greater role in deciding locations for installation of ‘live remote monitoring facilities’, including facial recognition cameras and vehicle number plate recognition cameras.

The Corporation and other civic agencies will install at least 20,000 cameras with facilities for facial recognition and vehicle number plate recognition this year. The cameras will also automatically detect potholes, identify encroachments, check parking violations, monitor accidents and track crime.

Former Chennai Corporation floor leader V. Sukumar Babu said the officials were selecting locations for installation of cameras without consulting locals.

“If the officials intend to analyse civic issues, they should first talk to the people. They conducted a workshop 18 months ago on smart city mission. No public consultation has been conducted so far. Residents should know about the significance of selecting a particular location for camera surveillance,” he said.

Public consultation

Mugalivakkam resident S. Kannan said the Corporation should conduct public consultation with residents’ associations to finalise locations of the cameras for reducing the dumping of waste in residential areas.

The Corporation has identified 6,000 spots where dumping of garbage happens in the city. Over 400 locations are categorised as “chronic” in terms of dumping of garbage, affecting public health. “We plan to erect smart poles in such locations with cameras that can do facial recognition. We are erecting 100 poles for such cameras to monitor street littering,” said an official.

S. Mangala Raj, former councillor, said the system might detect open defecation near garbage bins, causing embarrassment to the Corporation, which has wrongly claimed that the city is ‘open defecation-free’. “They should construct better toilets in every locality before installing facial recognition cameras for surveillance. They should ensure dignity of each individual,” he said.

Corporation officials said ‘video analytics’, which involves the systematic analysis of real-time data collected by the camera through the ₹150-crore Command and Control Centre at the Ripon Buildings, would send alerts to officials concerned for immediate action.

The system would also send alerts on rash driving, vandalism, gesture-based SOS recognition, accident, chain snatching, eve-teasing, stalking, abduction, and child labour.

In the first phase, the camera-based video analytics will be commissioned at major transit points, railway junctions, airport, bus terminus, places of worship, cinema halls, schools, bus route roads, colleges, universities, Metro stations, government offices and slums.

Parking violations

Chennai Smart City is installing 668 cameras, which will capture parking violations and encroachments.

The police are expected to install 10,000 cameras, which will be integrated with the Command and Control Centre at the Ripon Buildings. The Nirbhaya Fund will be used to install 7,000 cameras and Smart City funds will be used to install 2,000 cameras, officials said. “All these cameras will have facial recognition by August,” said an official.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:34:57 PM |

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