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Event Report | September 2017

Stress on surveillance & safety in Smart Cities

The importance of safety and security was the focus of two Roundtable Conferences held by the Smart Cities Council India jointly with Western Digital, a leading global provider of storage solutions, in Mumbai and Bengaluru recently. Titled “Technology Modernization for Safer and Smarter Cities” (Mumbai) and “Role of Video Surveillance Systems in Making Cities Safer” (Bengaluru), both the conferences dwelt upon the importance of surveillance and security systems playing their roles in supporting and accelerating the vision of ‘Smart Cities’ and help urban planners understand the framework of a smart city and take steps for collective and progressive growth.

Sharing his viewpoint at the Mumbai conference, Pratap Padode, Executive Director & Founder, Smart Cities Council India, said, “There is a correlation between crime and urban density. Mumbai has witnessed a drop in crime reported in 216 over the previous year by 7.7 per cent and CCTV surveillance has had a role to play in the deterrence of crime.” For a safer city, he further added, “we need to have safer infrastructure and CCTV surveillance is an integral part of ensuring a safer surroundings.”

Padode cited Mumbai as a great example of safe and secure city. “Given the Smart Cities Mission drive, city administrations need to focus on installing and upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems and allied technologies,” he suggested.

During the inaugural session, Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust highlighted opportunities that can be explored by stakeholders from the security and surveillance sector. He said, “We are providing a huge business opportunity to the surveillance sector by building a green city in Mumbai port land.”

The roundtable for ‘Role of Video Surveillance Systems in making cities safer’ was moderated by Satish Mathur, Director General, Maharashtra Police and featured esteemed panelists: Arun Unhale, Director, State Disaster Management Authority; Keshava Sharma, Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India; Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director - South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital; Amitesh Kumar, JT. C.P. (Traffic) Mumbai Police & D.R. Bhade, Senior Planner (NAINA), CIDCO. Stalwarts from the technology, security and urban development backgrounds appreciated the role of organizers which have provided such a multi-stakeholder platform to promote discussions on the surveillance for safer and smarter cities.

At the Bengaluru Conference, Padode, said, “Public surveillance cameras can play a pivotal role in city’s security if CCTV Systems are implemented and employed responsibly. There need to be an emphasis on instating right surveillance standards and industry best practices for effective surveillance that ensures safety and peace of mind for citizens. As Bengaluru authorities have already in the process of stepping up surveillance through installation of around 5,000 new CCTV cameras across the city, it has to be more than just an exercise. The technology capital of the state should lead by example and set up best standards for video surveillance using latest technology by installing and upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems and allied technologies.”

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