After being the first in the state to install CCTV cameras to catch traffic offenders, Navi Mumbai is now going to get high-definition cameras that can capture licence plates of traffic offenders and facial features of people on the road. The latter will come in handy to verify if a suspect was near the scene of a crime.
City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) is planning to install these cameras in areas under its jurisdiction, i.e. Kharghar to Panvel. Sources in the Navi Mumbai Traffic department said that CIDCO hopes to install 500 such cameras by May, and a trial demonstration is being carried out at one spot in CBD Belapur.
These cameras will be equipped to capture a photograph of the licence plate number of a vehicle that jumps a signal or speeds beyond permissible limit. The software can also capture the plate at night. This camera will send an alert about the vehicle to the Navi Mumbai traffic control room.
Officials will then make a note of the number and, after comparison with the database of licenced drivers in the state, send an e-challan to the offender’s registered address.
In addition, these cameras will be synchronised with special software that can recognise a particular face in the crowd of hundreds. The software will make use of police records to establish a match. This feature will be particularly useful in case a crime is occurring on the streets, or to ascertain the location of an accused near the scene of the crime.
These cameras will be perched atop a pole, which will also have a common emergency button and an emergency communication system. In case of a crisis, people can dial the control room and inform them about it. Officials can get real-time updates about any untoward happenings on the city roads.
“We have asked the interested players to demonstrate their technology, following which the contract would be awarded to the qualified one. Till now, over four firms have shown interest in the project, including big names such as Wipro and L&T,” said an official from the Traffic department, on condition of anonymity.
The total cost of implementing the project is estimated to be Rs 60 crore. Navi Mumbai already has over 200 cameras, which are used to book traffic offenders. This system, however, is manually monitored to note down the licence plate numbers.
Surveillance in other countries
>> Australia rolled out its first licence plate recognition system in 2005
>> Cameras to enforce speed limits are used in countries like UK, Dubai in the UAE, France, Netherlands, etc.
>> Cameras to capture signal jumping were introduced in the UK, US since the ’90s
>> China also extensively uses such cameras to check traffic offenders
Number of such cameras CIDCO plans to install between Kharghar and Panvel