VIJAYAWADA: The remarkable aspect of the Krishna Pushkarams 2016 has been the extensive use of technology to manage the show. Apart from surveillance cameras, drones, mobile apps and virtual inspection systems are being used to make the river festival a smart affair.
Some 1,400 surveillance cameras have been set up at vantage points at the seven ghats, pushkar nagars and important routes in Vijayawada. The surveillance cameras are powerful ones. They can be zoomed, tilted and panned by remote, giving a 180-270 degree view of the area.
The drones are octocopters equipped with surveillance cameras to hover over the throng at the ghats and pushkar nagars. Airborne and mobile, they provide a bird's eye view of the happenings, and can be moved closer to potential trouble spots. Each of the 18 drones can be airborne for 15 minutes and cover a 1-2 sq km area. They can hover as low as 6 feet from the ground and transmit footage in real time.
IVRS technology being used to get feedback from the public in form of a sample survey. Kaizala, developed by Microsoft, is another technology being employed. It works on the same lines as Whatsapp and Telegram and can accommodate the mobile numbers of the entire population of the state. It can be used as an instant messenging system to communicate within a group.
According to experts, it can be even used to locate and keep track of the people. This facility is being used by the authorities to stay in communication with each of the 60,000 government employees who are engaged in the Krishna Pushkaralu. After they download the app and are assigned a task, they are geo-fenced, providing their exact whereabouts.
Further, using different mobile apps developed for Kaizala, photos taken with smartphones can be uploaded instantly with details like the place and time taken. The location can be tracked on Google Maps, as it is geo tagged. Another technology, Virtual Inspection System, is being used to help officials to inspect any ghat from their offices. It involves a person carrying a smart video camera which can transmit footage instantly to the servers. The person tasked with carrying the lightweight equipment will act as per the instructions of the inspecting officer.
All the footage, feed, opinions, photos are being monitored from command control centres, where they are collated, analysed and stored. Based on the analysis, officials can take informed decisions. "It is smart crowd management which tracks the movement and mood of the crowd," chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said while demonstrating how new technologies are being used.
He said after the Krishna Pushkaram, the government is contemplating to utilize such technology in various ways. They want to utilise surveillance cameras in urban bodies like Vijayawada not only for security purposes but also to evaluate sanitation position and other purposes.
The state government, which recruited engineering students to analyse the footage from surveillance cameras, drones, IVRS, Kaizala and mobile apps, is encouraging them to come out with ideas and use the Internet of Things (IoT). It is offering to make their ideas into revenue generating entrepreneurs, by organising innovation societies at different levels.