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Punjab, India Unveils Hi-Tech Integrated Command and Control Centre

The state of Punjab has launched inaugurated its first hi-tech integrated command and control centre (ICCC), which will supervise 1,401 closed-circuit television cameras that have been installed across the city of Ludhiana.

The ICCC will monitor traffic, LED lights, sewage treatment plants, common effluent treatment plants (CETPs), rooftop solar panels, and encroachments and defacements. It will oversee the revenue collection of the municipal corporation, including property tax, water and sewerage, disposal, and pet registration. It will measure air quality with data sourced from the central and state pollution control boards. It also has a GPS-based vehicle tracking system to monitor solid waste trucks, corporation vehicles, and city bus services.

As per reports, the centre was set up at a total cost of US $4.5 million. According to the state’s Local Bodies Minister, Inderbir Singh Nijjar, 330 more cameras are being installed in the city that will be linked to the ICCC. The cameras will also help to monitor secondary garbage collection points, compactors along the Buddha Nullah stream, and stray animals.

About 30 vehicle-mounted camera systems are also being installed on police and municipal corporation vehicles that will provide live-feed surveillance footage during protests, public gatherings, or other functions in the city. Additionally, 600 external IR illuminators with a 200-metre range would ensure better monitoring even during zero visibility. Officials believe the centre will bring sweeping change in the functioning of the civic body and police administration.

Punjab has been exploring the use of emerging technology in governance over the past few years. In 2020, it became the first state to roll out a business intelligence tool for big data collection. The tool was provided for free by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). In 2021, the state announced it would integrate crime and criminal tracking networks and systems (CCTNS) following the roll-out of two data analytic tools. The systems enabled police officials in the field to analyse data in a web and mobile-based application. 1,100 tablets were given to police officials in the field and 1,500 mobile phones providing access to a comprehensive database were procured.

Other states around the country are also deploying technology to support public administration activities. Earlier this week, the southern state of Telangana inaugurated a US$ 75 million police ICCC, which will function as a nerve centre for operations and disaster management. It will collect information from multiple applications, CCTVs, and traffic systems for predictive policing.

The ICCC is divided into five blocks. Tower A is the headquarters of the Hyderabad City Police Commissionerate. Tower B is the Technology Fusion Tower that hosts backups-related units like Dial-100, SHE safety, cyber and narcotics cells, and crimes and incubation centres.

Tower C has an auditorium on the ground floor and Tower D has a media and training centre. Tower E houses a command control and data centre for multi-department coordination and CCTV monitoring. The CCTV room will have access to around 922,000 cameras installed across the state.

Police can check footage of 100,000 cameras at the same time. The ICCC has a space for artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and social media units. The building also has a sewerage treatment plant and solar panels that can generate up to 0.5 megawatts and. As much as 35% of the land area is dedicated to greenery and other amenities such as a gym and health and wellness centre.

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