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Smart Cities Council, WD highlight role of Surveillance in securing Indian Smart Cities

Surveillance to act as a catalyst for secure cities in India; Role of IT especially surveillance is vital for safer and smarter cities

Western Digital co-hosted a Roundtable Conference on “Technology Modernization for Safer and Smarter Cities” with Smart Cities Council at Mumbai on Friday. The conference primarily aimed at discussing initiatives to fuel the growth of surveillance security in India, the challenges faced, and methods to address them. The discussions also focused around numerous initiatives that support and accelerate the vision of ‘Smart Cities’ and help urban planners understand the framework of a smart city and take steps for collective and progressive growth.

The roundtable for ‘Role of Video Surveillance Systems in making cities safer’ was moderated by Satish Mathur, Director General, Maharashtra Police  and featured esteemed panelists: Arun Unhale, Director, State Disaster Management Authority; Keshava Sharma, Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India; Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital; Amitesh Kumar, JT. C.P. (Traffic) Mumbai Police & D.R. Bhade, Senior Planner (NAINA), CIDCO.  Stalwarts from the technology, security and urban development backgrounds appreciated the role of organizers which have provided such a multi-stakeholder platform to promote discussions on the surveillance for safer and smarter cities.

Speaking at the event, Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital, said,“ The surveillance sector in India is expected to witnesses a robust growth due to rise of urban infrastructure accompanied by increasing spending on IT and security. Therefore it becomes imperative at this stage to set the video surveillance standards in place to achieve a common goal of enabling smarter and safer cities at a faster pace.”

The discussion centered on the need of smart surveillance shaping smart cities and how to transform surveillance video from cost burden to value-added asset. Additionally, the need of city administrations to focus on installing and upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems and allied technologies and incentive to help propel the formation of sustainable smart cities.

Sharing his viewpoint, Pratap Padode, Executive Director & Founder, Smart Cities Council India, said, “There is a correlation between crime and urban density. Mumbai has witnessed a drop in crime reported in 216 over the previous year by 7.7% and CCTV surveillance has had a role to play in the deterrence of crime. For a safer city we need to have safer infrastructure and CCTV surveillance is an integral part of ensuring safer surroundings. Mumbai has always been a great example of safe and secure city.  Given the Smart Cities Mission drive, city administrations need to focus on installing and upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems and allied technologies. There is need for cameras that can assist in ‘Crime detection’ and ‘Community watch’; while crime prevention, traffic management and women safety are other objectives that are deemed important.”

The stakeholders in unison concurred  that investing in the latest video surveillance technology with highest-resolution cameras, best quality analytical tools and highest capacity storage will help lead to smart surveillance systems for secure and safe areas, with a goal of achieving less crimes, 24×7 surveillance, and safer environments for city inhabitants.

In January 2017, Smart Cities Council India, in support with Western Digital, had organized a similar roundtable in Delhi and launched a report on “Role of Surveillance in Securing Cities” which highlighted the need for surveillance and the role it plays in making our cities secure and smarter. One of the key survey findings was that ‘large storage capacity’ came up as a high priority. As hard drive technology continues to advance, it is important to help ensure that storage is scalable and future-ready to enable longer retention cycles and broader analytical capabilities.

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