Mumbai Police to use drones, add 1500 CCTV cameras to its surveillance network under ‘Safe City Project’

Mumbai Police to use drones, add 1500 CCTV cameras to its surveillance network under 'Safe City Project'
Police will map areas where crimes against women like rape, molestation, groping or such offences have been reported in the past (Representational Image)

To make the city safer for women, Mumbai police are planning to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance, map crime hotspots throughout the megapolis and install ‘panic buttons’ at each of those spots.

The initiatives are a part of the Rs 252 crore Safe City Project, which will be implemented fully in three years.

“Use of UAVs for this purpose will be the first in the country,” K M M Prasanna, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), who worked on the project told PTI.

Following the Nirbhaya gang-rape incident of 2012, the Union Home Ministry invited proposals from police departments of major metropolitan cities to provide more security to women. It also allocated Central funds for such projects.

Mumbai Police came up with Safe City Project which contemplates use of state-of-the-art technology, said Prasanna.

60 percent of the cost is expected to be borne by the Centre, he said, adding that the Maharashtra government recently gave in-principle nod for the project.

The entire city will be mapped using the Geographic Information System (GIS), and the spots where crimes against women have been reported frequently will be identified for installation of panic buttons.

On pressing the panic button, alert will be sent to the nearest police station which can rush its personnel to the spot.

“Women travel a lot by buses, taxis and auto rickshaws. We are planning to provide QR Codes and a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to these vehicles so that they can be tracked,” Prasanna said.

Introduction of automatic number plate identification system and facial recognition system are also part of the Safe City Project.

In addition to over 5,000 CCTV cameras already in place, another 1,500 cameras will be set up to widen the surveillance network in the city, Prasanna said.

“We have identified 500 locations with underpasses and sky-walks. These spots too will be monitored by CCTV cameras,” he said.

Another Rs 12.46 crore will reportedly be spent on capacity building for training & sensitisation of police officers and Rs 13.67 crore on awareness programmes.

The police will also spend Rs 17.50 crore on seven-seater patrol and response vehicle with mounted cameras and gearless 2-wheelers with dash cameras.

Police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Saxena will monitor the implementation of the project.

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