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Home / Jaipur / Covid-19 lockdown: 800 cameras, 15 drones are Jaipur Police’s eyes in the sky

Covid-19 lockdown: 800 cameras, 15 drones are Jaipur Police’s eyes in the sky

With the help of these cameras and drones, Jaipur Police are ensuring compliance of Covid-19 lockdown in the city.

jaipur Updated: Apr 05, 2020 13:11 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
An official examines the giant live screens at the ‘corona war room’ in police commissioner’s office in Jaipur on Saturday.
An official examines the giant live screens at the ‘corona war room’ in police commissioner’s office in Jaipur on Saturday. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

On the first floor of the Jaipur Police Commissioner’s office, there is a big hall. When you enter, on your left are three rows of work stations and 30 screens on the walls. Each row has eight work stations - with three computer screens each - tracking every movement on the streets of Jaipur, and routinely watching the feed from 15 drones hovering over the walled city areas.

Every suspicious or illegal activity is reported to the police station concerned. On the right, on 16 screens, calls to police are being tracked.

Welcome to the ‘corona war room’ of Jaipur Police.

“We monitor live feed from 800 cameras all across the city. 150 of them are PTZ cameras that can rotate 360 degrees, the remaining are fixed,” says Adarsh Choudhary, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and one of the three officers in charge of the war room.

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With the help of these cameras, Jaipur Police are ensuring compliance of the lockdown in the city. Out of the 800 cameras, 176 are in the walled city and 22 of them are PTZ cameras.

For narrow and congested lanes and by-lanes, there are drones that fly over rooftops to detect illegal activities such as gatherings of more than five people.

“The drone footage is monitored by respective police station areas,” said Jitendra Singh Rathore, station house officer of Manak Chowk police station, which is on one gateway to the Ramganj area - the first to be put under curfew after 45-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus disease Covid-19 on March 26.

The man transmitted the virus to at least 20 members of his family, sparking fears of community transmission.

The area under seven police stations in the walled city - Ramganj, Kotwali, Manak Chowk, Brahmpuri, Nahargarh and Galta Gate - is under curfew since March 28.

“Our cameras are in the marketplace and at other prominent locations. We can track activities on main roads with them. For lanes and by-lanes, we needed more eyes in the sky to keep track, especially because of the curfew,” said Ajay Pal Lamba, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).

The police officer, who shot to fame in 2013 when he led the police action against Asaram Bapu as deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Jodhpur West, also gets drone footage on his mobile phone, which he kept checking even as he spoke to Hindustan Times.

There were some reports of people rushing to their rooftops to see the whizzing drones flying over them but the police had no problem with that. “As long as they stay indoors and maintain social distancing, we have no problem,” Lamba said.

Meanwhile, in the war room, three additional SPs are in charge in three shifts - 6 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm and 10 pm to 6 am. The call-in facility has two PRI (Primary Rate Interface) lines that can handle 60 calls at a time. A PRI line enables traditional phone lines to carry voice, data and video traffic.

Four screens in the middle of the left wall display calls in progress. Constables in plainclothes monitor the work stations and routine rotate the PTZ cameras for better views.

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