BMTC plans big-ticket bus surveillance

Passenger info system, centralised data bank in JnNURM funding wish list

BMTC plans big-ticket bus surveillance

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)’s plan for a massive fleet upgrade to 16,000 City buses and 52 depots will demand a technology-driven approach to manage its operations.

Sensing the urgency and relevance of such a system in a chaotic setup like Bangalore, BMTC has now proposed to establish a Central Control Station, Dedicated Data Centre, Video Surveillance and Monitoring and Passenger Information system.

Ready with a Detailed Project Report (DPR), BMTC has now sought Rs 119.93 crore for the project, to be financed partly by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). If okayed, the Centre will contribute Rs 41.98 crore, the State Rs 17.99 crore and the Transport Corporation will have to generate another Rs 59.97 crore for the project.  

Here’s how BMTC proposes to implement the system by putting in place six key infrastructure components: Surveillance cameras in about 6,000 buses; similar cameras in all major bus stations and Traffic & Transit Management Centres (TTMCs); LED display systems to announce destinations in 4,000 buses; Passenger Information System, kiosks and touch screens in all major bus stations and TTMCs; a Central Control Station (CCS) and Dedicated Data Centre (DDC).

The CCS and DDC would be the back-end infrastructure to support the first four passenger-focused services.

CC surveillance cameras

Each of the chosen 6,000 buses will be equipped with two closed-circuit (CC) surveillance cameras and one Mobile Digital Video Recorder (MDVR), forming the core infrastructure component of the project.

The buses will be fitted with the related software, hardware and other accessories. The CC camera will cover all locations of the bus saloon area including doors, driver zones and ticketing zones, with a capacity to store 48 hours of continuous video recording.

To allay any misgivings about the video surveillance system among the public, BMTC proposes to put in place a public information campaign in the first year.

A monitoring policy, mechanisms to instal operational controls on access, use and distribution of video data will be evolved and integrated into the BMTC’s core operational Standard Operating Procedures.

The video surveillance cameras will be linked to the CCS through a Central Control Centre infrastructure. This Centre will help monitor incidents if any.

It will have two-way communication control capabilities – initiating monitoring from the Bus to the Control Centre and vice versa. The LED display boards will be fixed to 4,000 buses that are not factory-fitted with such systems. It will provide information on route number, destinations, departure/arrival times of various bus schedules and major bus stops en route.

The CCS will be supported by the Dedicated Data Centre, a central repository of Video Surveillance files that are of interest. These will be available either through live capture during monitoring or extracted video files from the depots. The depot infrastructure will incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity to the MDVR for copying video files, simple test rig to test and record the health of this system.

This ensures that all the equipment are working as designed — camera, recording unit, communication unit and Wi-Fi unit. This would be carried out at the end of every shift when the bus arrives at the depot for fuelling. BMTC has proposed to execute the entire project in 24 to 30 months. Detailed timelines and milestones for the project are likely to be worked before procurement action is finalised.

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