Biometric smart city, rail token and background check projects roll out in India
A biometric smart city project being implemented in the Indian city of Gurugram will see its first phase wind up by March with the installation of 1,200 CCTV surveillance cameras powered by artificial intelligence, The Hindu reports.
According to the report, other features of the mega-project include a system to detect traffic signal violation, overspeeding, number plates of defaulting vehicles, as well as a facial recognition option.
P.K. Aggarwal, an adviser to the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) – the body overseeing the project – about 700 surveillance cameras have already been implanted in about 160 places within the framework of the first phase, as per The Hindu report.
“We hope to install the remaining 500 cameras, covering around 60 places in another three months… We have a captive optical fibre network of around 400 km. It is our own network. We have not hired it from anyone. It connects all these cameras to the GMDA’s Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC), monitored by our Smart City team. It is also used by many other agencies, including the police…,” Aggarwal was quoted as saying.
The official explained other uses of the surveillance cameras, saying the face biometrics component of it will be used to detect crime suspects. It also has the ability to detect stolen vehicles, he added.
“It also helps in tracking of vehicles with a particular colour and registration number. The police have provided us the registration number of stolen vehicles and the same have been fed into the system. The moment any of these stolen vehicles is detected, the location of the vehicle is identified and the culprits are arrested,” he told The Hindu.
With the current project which is being implemented by NEC as principal contractor, Gurugram is said to be one of the first cities in India to have a strong AI-powered surveillance system
Biometric token system at Visakhapatnam rail station
A biometric token and surveillance system with drone cameras has been installed at the Visakhapatnam rail station. Times of India reports that the technology is intended to control the flow of passengers, especially during peak periods, as well as enhance security at the station.
The report quotes a senior divisional commissioner with the Railway Protection Force as explaining that the fingerprint biometric system is used to regulate crowds through an orderly procurement of unreserved places for general compartment seats. It is efficient as it does not only prevent queues, but also helps in the fight against corrupt practices.
The surveillance aspect of the system, the railway officials say, is used for the surveillance against criminals. Personnel have already been trained to pilot the drones and operate the system, the report adds.
Companies to pay for access to CCTNS
Private companies as well as some public sector entities may soon be able to pay to perform checks against biometric data held by the Crime and Criminals Tracking Network System (CCTNS) of India in order to determine whether a potential employee has any criminal history.
In a report the Times of India notes the country’s National Crime Records Bureau already has developed some applications that rely on the CCTNS database for criminal investigation purposes. The bureau, the report adds, will also have its automated facial recognition system linked to the CCTNS.
MediaNama reports the CCTNS project was started way back in 2009, and that since then the Road Transport Ministry sold vehicle registration and driver’s license data until it halted the practice, citing privacy concerns.