In a first for Kolkata, from today, you may download an app made especially to help one navigate through the maze of city roads and the maddening crowd during the days of Durga Puja.
Kolkata’s police commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, announced the launch of Utsavapp 2016 on Monday. It has been powered by a city-based startup and will guide revelers, on the basis of information about their location, to reach their favourite pandals in the quickest possible time through the shortest routes. The app will also help select convenient parking spots near the pandals you visit. In other words, Kolkata Police has turned its tradition puja guide digital and interactive.
“The app will showcase the puja guide map designed by Kolkata Police digitally. Whoever downloads the app will be directed to the map page where the location of the user will get automatically updated. One only needs to select the pandals one wants to visit and the app will show the shortest routes. It will also display the condition of traffic and the adjoining parking locations,” deputy commissioner (traffic) of Kolkata Police said V Solomon Nesakumar said.
There is also an SOS button on the app which can be used by a person in distress to send his or her present location to friends and relatives. The app will also share locations of nearest police kiosks and ambulances in emergencies.
“If one goes missing while pandal-hopping, his or her relatives can share his or her details on the app. Our officers will immediately get the information and try to trace the person. Similarly, if one comes across someone who has got lost, you can share the person’s details and the police will try to find the person’s relatives,” Nesakumar said.
There is also a feature through which revelers can upload photos and share their experiences. Top police officers said the app may be a big hit by helping people decide on the pandals to visit.