Eye in the sky to scan puja crowd

Don’t get scared if you find an unidentified object hovering over your head during Durga Puja. It won’t harm you. In fact, it’ll be there to protect you. It’ll be Kolkata Police’slatest acquisition – unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – to keep the city under constant surveillance.

Just two months after the Union home minister shortlisted seven cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad- to have their own individual air surveillance systems where helicopters with gun-toting commandos, balloons fitted with cameras and sophisticated sensors and UAVs will keep round-the-clock vigil, Kolkata is set to become thesecond city after Delhi to have its own UAV.

However, what makes this even more interesting is the fact that it is an acquisition that has come independent of the Union home ministry’sown Safe City Project. “We have tested the UAV and it is working fine. We will use it to monitor crowd movement during pujas and control traffic across the city. We will be deploying it extensively during the immersions. The UAV has been approved by the Defensive Research and Development Organization,” said police chief Surajit Kar Purkayastha.

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