Varanasi's smart city command, control centre now 'COVID-19 War Room' with CCTV, GIS tech

The command centre was being used for municipal services, traffic management and water supply among others till now

An empty ghat in Varanasi An empty ghat in Varanasi

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi, CCTV cameras and GIS technology accessed through a command and control centre set up under the Smart Cities Mission are being used keeping a tight vigil on people's movement during the lockdown period.

Till now, the command centre was being used for municipal services, traffic management and water supply among others. But following the imposition of the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, it has been turned into a 'COVID-19 War Room'.

Around 15,600 people have been quarantined so far in the wake of the contagion. Geographic information system (GIS) technology is being used to map each case and keep tab on home-quarantined people.

The 'COVID-19 War Room' has mapped each case, home-quarantined person using the GIS technology, Varanasi Municipal Commissioner Gaurang Rathi said. "Partial functioning of dedicated departments like police, health, food and civil supplies, district administration and municipal corporation has also been shifted to smart command and control centre.

"Through hi-tech CCTV cameras, a strict vigil is being maintained across Varanasi during the ongoing 21-day lockdown period," Rathi told PTI.

He said LED screens installed in different parts of the city are being used to make people aware about preventive measures against coronavirus.

The Union Housing and Urban Ministry, the nodal ministry for the Smart Cities Mission, provides funds to 100 selected smart cities for their all-round development.

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