Israeli tech helps keep watch on Surat

Express news service Posted: Jan 19, 2013 at 0305 hrs
Surat Modi inaugurates CCTV surveillance project, over 100 cameras installed in first phase.

Inaugurating the CCTV camera surveillance project of the Surat police on Friday, Chief Minister Narendra Modi expressed the hope that the initiative would be replicated in other districts and states, and said that civic body and judiciary should also take advantage of this technology.

The project — Safe City Surat — is based on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Innovative Telecom and Software Company of Surat had won the bid to implement the project. Company director Moin Shaikh said, “The architectural software of the project is of Israel-based Verint company. We are a business partner of the company and have implemented the project.”

In a press release, Verint said the initial phase of the project has over 100 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras covering all major traffic junctions along with critical entry and exit points in the city.

In subsequent phases, the Surat police and the Surat Traffic Education Trust plan to extend the coverage by integrating the project with the proposed surveillance and command center network of the state government in Gandhinagar. The city administration plans to increase the number of surveillance locations to 5,000 by the end of the project implementation.

“At the heart of the project is the deployment of a state-of-the-art command, control and communications center with a 280-square-foot ‘video wall’ that can centrally monitor, aggregate and analyse multiple surveillance feeds... The center includes a city mapping capability that provides reports on physical security and fire alarm and water levels along with evacuation and disaster recovery plans,” said the company.

After inaugurating the control centre at Police Bhavan, Modi said, “Till now, the world knew about PPP (Public-Private Partnership) but this project has given a new term of PPPP (People-Public-Private Partnership). Through this technology we can save manpower and use it in detecting crime incidents while maintaining traffic. It’s an excellent initiative and I wish that other districts and states across the country also adopt it.”

He further, “This technology is not limited to the police department. Surat Municipal Corporation and judiciary can also take advantage of it. In the Command and Control Centre, where footage of all the cameras are seen, the municipal commissioner can easily see whether roads are properly cleaned or not. People associated with the judiciary, especially the judges of the Surat district court, can also take advantage of this technology. They can use video clips or photos collected from the command and control centre as evidence in many cases.”

He said that compared to other government departments, the Gujarat Police has the largest tech-savvy staff.

Modi was accompanied by Home Minister Rajnikant Patel, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ramanlal Vora, Forest and Environment Minister Ganpat Vasava and Water Supply Minister Nanu Vanani.