Millennium Post

Ganga Sagar: District administration to introduce realtime monitoring system to check crowd pressure

Kolkata: In a bid to ensure safe and secure journey of lakhs of pilgrims to Ganga Sagar Mela in Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas, the district administration has decided to introduce a realtime monitoring system using which all senior administrative and police officers can watch live footages of all the transit and other crucial points in their mobile phones.
It will ensure the officers in better crowd management when lakhs of pilgrims from across the country will pour into the island for a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga on Makarsankranti. This year, pilgrims are expected to start going to Ganga Sagar from January 10 onwards.
This is the first time when the administration has taken such a step and necessary tasks will be carried out for better Internet facility to ensure proper functioning of the online-based realtime monitoring system through mobile phones.
After reaching the transit points in the mainland, pilgrims need to cross Muriganga river in vessels to reach the Sagar Island. After crossing the river, they once again need to take another bus or car to reach up to the confluence of river Ganga.
Since pilgrims need to change their mode of transport at least twice enroute Sagar Island and back, crowd management is an important task for the administration. Moreover, vessel services remain suspended for sometime during low tide with lakhs of pilgrims waiting on both sides to cross the river and it makes the task tougher.
In such a situation, the administration every year needs to take necessary steps to ensure safety and
security of pilgrims. Going a step ahead this time, the administration is developing a realtime monitoring system to keep a round-the-clock tab on the situation at the transit and other crucial points.
An officer can monitor the situation at any transit point from his or her mobile phone and can take a decision in managing the crowd. Citing an example, a senior official said let us consider that an officer is posted at Lot-8 transit point and he wants to know the situation at some other crucial point to decide whether to allow any more pilgrims get onto the jetty to get ferried across the Muriganga as jetties are the places where most incidents of stampedes were reported a few years ago.
In a bid to make the project successful, the district administration has taken a decision of turning all the transit points to wifi zones so that officers do not face any problem in getting Internet connection in their phones. The district administration also held talks with mobile and Internet network service providers and asked them to take necessary initiatives in this regard.
Y Ratnakara Rao, District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas, said: "Steps are being taken to develop the infrastructure that includes better wireless connectivity for the realtime management system."
At the same time, the district authority has decided to increase the total number of surveillance cameras using which, direct monitoring from control room will be done.
Moreover, decision has been taken to increase the number of halting zones for pilgrims to nine out of which three will be in the mainland and six in the island. Instead of hurrying to gather near the jetties, that increases the
chances of untoward incident, pilgrims would take rest and wait for their turn before catching a vessel.
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