Ensuring safety and security is a crucial part of the state administration. Considering the advantages of having aerial surveillance, the administration have started deploying drones.
Gangasagar Mela is an annual gathering which takes place on the eastern coast on Sagar islands in West Bengal in the mid of January 2021. Each year millions of devotees come there to pray and be part of the annual celebration.
Ensuring safety and security of the devotees is a crucial part of the state administration. Considering the advantages of having aerial surveillance, the administration have started deploying drones at Gangasagar Mela from 2018.
The department was very quickly able to see the advantages that the technology (like Drones) could bring in. Drones are flown at safe altitudes from open locations to continuously monitor the crowd movement and use the intelligence to control starting and stopping of movement gates. This ensures that safe number of people are only allowed and congestion of people is avoided.
The drones are having HD cameras recording the live footage and streaming the same to the control room in real time where disaster management experts, decision makers, organisers, etc. can analyse the footage and take crucial decisions. The live stream is established on a completely independent system with 3 layers of backup option to ensure uninterrupted feed even during power failure, communication loss or blackout.
In 2021, Webel has been given the responsibility to provide deployment of Drones services during the Ganga Sagar Mela (January 7, 2021 to January 18, 2021). The live stream is given to Mega control room over a secure line and the backup of the complete footage is stored on cloud for future analysis. The footage is used to control the movement of jetties, opening of gates and any locations where CCTV network has limitations.
Considering the global pandemic, drones are being used as tools to check social distancing, monitoring crowd movement and behaviour, etc. The live stream from the drones have also been broadcasted by the administration for devotees who could not be present in the event due to COVID-19 impact via social media channels and handles. This not only made them feel part of the event but also showcased the beauty and glory of the event for new devotees who could be encouraged to travel in future.