Smart City Ahmedabad Development Limited (SCADL) with its SASA project – Safe and Secure Ahmedabad project – aims to open a new frontier in serving the citizens by using cutting edge technologies with state-of-the-art four storied Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) forming the nerve centre of information and monitoring of Ahmedabad city.
On this front, SCADL and AMC identified two major use-cases that could be addressed and implemented with nearly no new infrastructure setup required. First, the problem of mobility. Ahmedabad is developing into a large, sprawling metropolis, and its wide network of roads are incredibly busy. In such a scenario, the problem of rash drivers and traffic rule violators is already proving to be a nuisance. As the city gets busier, though, this problem cannot be allowed to persist. Indiscipline in the use of roadways causes unnecessary traffic, inefficiency, logjams, accidents, safety hazards, and other undesirable issues.
Secondly, one problem unique to India is people’s habit to spit in public spaces and soil the place with paan stains. This problem is extremely widespread, and completely defaces the look of the city. By their very nature, the stains are very hard to clean; and the extent of the problem just makes it even more impossible. The habit posing a health risk to people around due to its utter defiance of hygiene is also a significant issue. In the context of the Swachh Bharat Mission too, tackling such a ubiquitous issue so ingrained into the Indian psyche should take priority.
Safe and Secure Ahmedabad aims at improving the living standard of citizens, making city safer by using cutting edge technologies with over 30000 IOTs devices installed in the city which include 50 environment sensors, 1120 Solid Waste Management vehicles tracked through GPS, 180 free public Wi-Fi spots and over 6500 surveillance cameras with Automatic Number Plate Recognition and Red-Light Violation Detection facility.
Under the same project, 130 zero-tolerance junctions are being designed in order to bring traffic discipline and any violation to same punish offenders through its automated E-Challan system. Ahmedabad is the first Smart City to introduce Automatic e-challan at 130 zero tolerance junctions, is unique blend of governance, where city police and municipality come together. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and Red Light Violation Detection (RLVD) ensure better traffic. The zero tolerance junctions dispatch automatically E-challans through its E Challan system to traffic rules violators, crowd control, criminal acts and riotous situation footages in the city which are captured and transmitted automatically to the command control center for initiating rapid action by the security forces. Ahmedabad city traffic police has launched website https://payahmedabadechallan.org for the online payment of fine. To know whether one has been fined for any offence or not, one has to enter the vehicle number.
Leveraging use of the same infrastructure, a stop-spitting initiative has been started by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. All traffic signs and public places of the city are being examined by as many as 5000 CCTV cameras installed under the Smart City. CCTV footage being traced to the number of vehicles of those who spit on the road by taking video clips and capturing photographs. Then the memo has been prepared in the predefined format approved by Solid Waste Department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, and fine is imposed.
For spitting, 1800 incidents have been captured so far, and offenders are recognized and grouped by vehicle category (two-wheeler, auto, truck, four-wheeler). Similarly, improvements in cleanliness will also be observed as the Stop Spitting Movement catches on. At present person are directed to pay penalty at nearest city civic centre of AMC and in near future person who receive memo against spitting can pay the penalty online by AMC link details which going to be provided on memo.
Collection has been started at civic centre and defaulters to payment liable to pay penalty directly to dedicated team of SWM by having door-to-door collection zonewise and wardwise. Initial fine is Rs. 100 as per the Public Health Bylaws, 2012; followed by a Rs. 500 penalties on late payment.
In the future, BRTS/AMTS stops, civic centers, AMC Offices, another major public areas in the city shall also be monitored for spitters. The fine is to be paid at civic centers, but online functionality will soon be implemented.
Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. It can use existing closed-circuit television, road-rule enforcement cameras, or cameras specifically designed for the task.
The software aspect of the system runs on standard home computer hardware and can be linked to other applications or databases. It first uses a series of image manipulation techniques to detect, normalize and enhance the image of the number plate, and then optical character recognition (OCR) to extract the alphanumerics of the license plate. ANPR systems are generally deployed in one of two basic approaches: one allows for the entire process to be performed at the lane location in real-time, and the other transmits all the images from many lanes to a remote computer location and performs the OCR process there at some later point in time.
Output/Outcomes & Impacts
The Phase 2 of ICCC has added to the success of Phase 1. Since July 2018, over 22.5 lac E-Challans have been dispatched for Red-Light Violation (130 zero-tolerance junctions), from which over 13 Cr. has been collected as a result. For BRTS lane violations (32 active stations), 2756 challans were generated. Traffic management has improved with automated traffic surveillance systems.
For spitting, 1800 incidents have been captured so far, and offenders are recognized and grouped by vehicle category (two-wheeler, auto, truck, four-wheeler). The discipline towards cleanliness by citizen has been improved in city.
Currently, the infrastructure covers the main touch points such as BRTS bus stops and main traffic junctions. The network can be expanded to more locations on poles and support infrastructure all through the city in a phased manner.
A system could be built and trained with the images of the individuals spitting in the public places so that the system could identify an individual spitting in the public places and map the number plate of the vehicle. Similar process could be implemented for various types of offences and the system could be trained to read the number plate in case of those offences. Human involvement could be reduced in such instances and the system would be able to widely monitor for these types of offences.
Going forward, vehicle history could be kept in the repositories and frequent offenders could be mapped. In doing so, the city administration would have an idea about the frequent offenders.