India’s Largest Holy Confluence
Kumbh Mela – one of world’s largest spiritual gatherings and a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith – is a highly revered religious event where Hindus gather to bathe in a holy river. The spectacular fair displays uniqueness of the Hindu tradition, culture and historical significance.
There are four normal Kumbh Melas, which are held periodically in every three years at Allahabad (Prayagraj), Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. At any given place, the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years.
The recently held event at Prayagraj is Ardh Kumbh Mela which is held every six years at Hardwar and Prayagraj.
The Allhabad Ardh Kumbh Mela, held from 15 January to 4 March 2019, is claimed to be one of the most successfully organised mega event of this calibre – especially in terms of safety and security. A massive 39 sq. km of land area was turned into a temporary city, constructed by nearly 20,000 workers, to provide shelter to millions of pilgrims, sages and ascetics. The whole area had an arrangement of 1 lakh makeshift urinals, and 40,000 LED lights were installed to brighten the ceremony.
Managing and ensuring safety and security of people in lakhs was not an easy task. Safe movement of pilgrims, monitoring of crowd and dispersals through gates at such a large scale were some key challenges, and hence the concerned authorities planned to implement several security measures considering factors like the expanse of area, number of people, vulnerable spots and methods of security arrangement.
There were arrangements of four Police Lines with 40 Police Thanas, three Mahila Thanas, and 62 Police outposts. The authority also employed Jal Police with 3 units along the river stretch, and one Mounted Police Line to ensure seamless pilgrim movement by the river front and in other crucial religious spots.
Monitoring that massive crowd in millions to prevent stampede and like disasters also required cutting edge security solutions such as integrated CCTV surveillance system (ICCC).
Solution by CP PLUS
Collaborating with the UP Police, CP PLUS installed a total of 1,135 CCTV cameras covering 268 vulnerable locations of the expansive 39 sq. kms of area. An Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) was set up, which included 2 sub-command and control centres with 4 video monitoring cells and 20 video wall cubes, well-connected to installed CCTV cameras. The integrated ICCC surveillance solution by CP PLUS helped in the monitoring of crowd activities and provided round the clock surveillance of the entire expanse, preventing any unfortunate occurrences. The ICCC unit was manned by 120 monitoring operators and 30 call centre operators, making the execution of this mammoth-size project by CP PLUS a roaring success.
CP PLUS meticulously combined some of the latest surveillance solutions for the event –
- Video analytics and real-time video analysis for crowd management.
- Real-time detection and alert algorithm for overcrowded spaces.
- Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system for parking sites.
- Vehicle detection by vehicle colour/ license plate and date time combinations.
- Variable message display (VMD) boards.
- Real-time information dissemination containing warnings, traffic advice, route guidance and emergency messages.
- Text and graphic based messages display.
- Integrated traffic management system.
With the given safety and security measures, Ardh Kumbh Mela Prayagraj 2019 went on for more than 20 days with reportage of zero mishap. The operators of the integrated command and control centre remotely helped authorities by making live feeds of the vulnerable areas readily available, enabling early alarm mechanism, and providing complete control on the crowd movement with the police personnel.
Director General – UP Police, O.P. Singh applauded the efforts of the police personnel and CP PLUS, and said, “We employed all kinds of modern surveillance technologies to make this Kumbh Mela a huge success. Simultaneously, forces – ATS and NSG – were on duty to prevent terrorist’s acts an/ or any other criminal or unpleasant incidents in the fair. Commandos monitored the event via choppers and worked in collaboration with the surveillance provider. For us, it was crucial to maintain safety of the people at the most vulnerable spots without intervening in the fair rituals. We received tremendous support from the designated surveillance teams who enabled us in monitoring such a massive crowd as per our requirement with zero mishap count.”