VIJAYAWADA: Police Commissioner Gautam Sawang feels that the experience he gained in ensuring security to about two crores of people, who visited Vijayawada to take holy bath during the recent Krishna Pushkarams, will keep him in good stead in ensuring better and citizen-friendly policing in Vijayawada in future.
In an informal interaction with media persons at his office here on Monday, the police commissioner said it had given him immense satisfaction that the Pushakarams went off without any untoward incident. “On the first day, the only thought on our mind was preventing any likely tragedy. We remained in a state of readiness all through the day to implement the strategies we had planned for the worst case scenario,” he said.
“After Godavari Pushkaram tragedy, we were determined to ensure that Krishna Pushkarams would go on smoothly. We had several strategies ready and were monitoring the movement of the crowd since the crack of the dawn.
“We had blocked Prakasam barrage in the morning to regulate movement of crowd. The officers were all over the city and ghats and were prepared to take a decision depending on how the situation developed,” Sawang said and felt that thankful that he had the opportunity to serve so many people in such a short time.
“The trick was to regulate the movement of the crowds so that there would be massing. On the first day there was not much crowd, for whatever reason, and accordingly by afternoon we eased traffic curbs. At one point of time, we did not allow even pedestrians on Prakasam barrage but later we not only allowed them but also vehicles,” Sawang said.
He was satisfied as the pilgrims expressed satisfaction over the way the police had behaved with them. “A lot of effort has gone into it. We had sensitised the team to be nice to the pilgrims and to ensure that they would not feel frustrated, all facilities were provided to them at the place of their stay including transport up to the places where they were posted from where they stayed. They had no reason to feel dissatisfied and as a result they behaved well with the people,” Sawang said.
The police had an opportunity to get a good exposure to latest technology in virtual monitoring of crowds. “We had placed CCTV cameras and used drones whose video footage helped us in planning measures on a real time basis. Now that the real time virtual inspection is available at command and control centre, the technology will enable efficient administration,” the police commissioner said.
He was quite hopeful that the technology will keep the police several steps ahead of those who might resort to making trouble. Already analytics technology is helping in spotting any one from a huge crowd who has a shady past.
“We will use this technology extensively to keep a tab on not only terrorists, nimble footed thieves and mischief makers but also for effective management of traffic in the city, We have delivered quality service during Pushkarams. I am quite happy about how our policemen did their job during the 12-day river festival,” the police commissioner added.