Saturday, 9 January 2010

Security cameras on balloons during Commonwealth Games

With the Commonwealth Games drawing near, Delhi police are gearing up to the challenge.

According to the police, a trial run of the ambitious camera balloons which will be used for aerial surveillance during the Games, was held during one-day match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on December 27. "It will be based on the results of the trial run that a decision will be made on its use during the Commonwealth Games." said a senior police officer at the police headquarters.

According to sources, around three to four of these helium filled balloons were mounted with security cameras during the match. "All these balloons had cameras of the latest technology fitted on them. The idea is that this PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras which can rotate 360 degrees will be useful in keeping a watchful eye on the crowd as well as the traffic outside the stadium. These balloons have been used successfully during the Athens Olympics. However, we know there are certain limitations even with this system. We will be waiting to find out the results to ensure that the huge amount of money that would be invested in such a venture does not go waste." said a senior police officer

Confirming that the traffic police too is taking a keen interest in the experiment, joint commissioner (traffic) S N Srivastav said that they were going to evaluate the findings. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a senior officer added that the immediate use of the technology could be in curbing illegal parking outside the stadium on match day or in spotting potential mischief-makers. "Any irregularity will be spotted by our own men managing the cameras." said the officer

A special control room would also be set up at the stadium for this purpose. "This control room will be helping us in setting up benchmarks for the gala event" added the officer. This control room will also act as a training module for the police officers who will be entrusted with handling these balloons during the Commonwealth Games

Meanwhile, the central district is taking no chances this time around after an uneasy tiff with DDCA last time round. "This is a major chance to evaluate our security position and therefore we are hoping that all agencies will cooperate. We might even take over the stadium, a day prior to the game this time." said a senior police officer.


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