Medaram Jatara which was visited by about 1.5 crore devotees passed off without any untoward incidents thanks to the artificial intelligence used by the Telangana State Police for the first time in the country.
As every devotee who visits the ‘Gadde’ — the holy place of Godesses Sammakka and Saralamma — and duly submit their offerings ‘Mokkulu’, this point of monitoring and maintenance has been been the biggest challenge for the forces deployed at the place of event, a release of the DGP’s office said.
In line with Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao’s instructions to conduct the popular event without any unsavoury incident, Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy decided to use modern technology during the Jatara at an optimal level.
First he directed the IT wing officials and other senior officers to look into the technology used during the Prayag Raj Kumbh Mela which believed to have attracted the highest number of devotees and the steps taken by the local administration in allowing the pilgrims to go for the holy bath in the River Ganga.
Then the DGP involved the IT officials in the study of artificial intelligence over the last six months. In Prayag Raj Kumbh Mela, urban and upper middle class groups formed the major proportion of devotees while in Medaram, 90 % of devotees comprised of tribal and rural folks.
The officials used the previous related experiences of local crowd management and applied them to the current technology and installed 14 high definition cameras of AI to estimate the crowd by monitoring the inflow of devotees along the route which leads to ‘Gaddelu’ from Jampannavagu, RTC bus stand, Orattam. All these cameras were connected to the ‘Command and Control Centre’ exclusively set up at the Police Camp, Medaram. The DGP visited Medaram twice to review arrangements and measures taken up on an unprecedented scale.
From there with the data gathered by the AI technology, the crowd destiny was estimated based on the incoming devotees and instructions were given then and there to the point officers deployed at the Jatara. The system gave alarms as and when devotees in a square metre area exceeded above 3.6 devotees. Thus it became easy for the State police in maintaining the orderly movement and prevent stampede-like incidents.
Not only the crowd and queues at the festival venue but even the traffic leading to Medaram was effectively regulated with no single instance of congestion, by allotting route-specific parking lots where not a single vehicle was allowed to park on the roads. The entry and exit points were separated to avoid collisions and shopkeepers and vendors were given definite place to set up their kiosks. All this was achieved by working in coordination with other wings of administration.
Enthused with the success, the State police officials said that similar technology and methodology would be deployed for upcoming festivals like Bonalu and Ganesh immersion that attract huge crowds.