Smart Cities Council India along with Western Digital, a leading global provider of storage solutions, co-hosted a Roundtable Conference on 'Technology Modernisation for Safer and Smarter Cities' in Mumbai. 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.
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 per cent and CCTV surveillance has had a role to play in the deterrence of crime.'
For a safer city, he further added, 'we need to have safer infrastructure and CCTV survelliance is an integral part of ensuring a safer surroundings.'
Padode cited Mumbai as 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,' he suggested.
During the inaugural session, Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust highlighted opportunities that can be explored by stakeholders from the security and surveillance sector. He said, 'We are providing a huge business opportunity to the surveillance sector by building a green city in Mumbai port land.'
The roundtable 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 & DR 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.
The discussion centred 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.
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 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, 24x7 surveillance, and safer environments for city inhabitants.
In January 2017, Smart Cities Council India, in support with Western Digital, had organised 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.