The Background

World’s largest spiritual gathering - Kumbh Mela, is a highly revered religious event for the Hindu sages and ascetics, displaying uniqueness of the Hindu tradition, culture and historical significance. One of the most crowded and incredibly exclusive religious celebrations, the Kumbh Mela showcases India’s ‘Civilizational Continuity’ and demonstrates the richness of its thousand-of-years-old culture.

Millions of pilgrims’ flock to the holy cities to take a holy dip in the river water originating from Haridwar, touching Ujjain, Nashik, and merging in confluence at Prayagraj. For such a mega event, a massive 39 sq. km of area was turned into a temporary city by 20,000 construction workers providing shelters to lakhs of pilgrims, sages and ascetics. The whole area had an arrangement of 1 lakh makeshift urinals, 20,000 sanitation workers in service, and shelter-facilities brightened by 40,000 LED lights. Managing an expansive area and ensuring safety and security of people in lakhs, was a humongous task. The authorities were planning to implement several security measures considering the area, number of pilgrims, vulnerable spots and methods of security arrangements.

Challenges Faced

Safe pilgrim movement, crowd monitoring, incident management, and seamless pilgrim dispersals were some of the key challenges. Concurrently, coordination between 4 Police Lines with 40 Police Thanas, 3 Mahila Thanas, 62 Police Outposts, Jal Police were established; with 3 Units along the river stretch, and 1 Mounted Police Line was required to be managed. Preventing mishap or stampede-like situation was a critical aspect, that required cutting-edge security solutions.

Solution by CP PLUS

Collaborating with the UP Police during 2019, CP PLUS installed large number of 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 sub-command and control centres with video monitoring cells and video wall cubes, well-connected to the CCTV cameras throughout the area. The integrated ICCC helped in the monitoring of crowd activities, provided round the clock surveillance of the entire expanse, and effectively prevented any unfortunate incident from taking place. The ICCC unit was manned by 120 monitoring operators and 30 call centre operators, making the execution of this mammoth-size. In addition to this, 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 colour along with vehicle search 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

The Impact

Thousands of Police personnel were on-guard for more than 20 days for the event. Entire expanse of the Kumbh Mela was secured by state-of-the-art solutions by CP PLUS helping the authorities with live feeds of crowd movement at vulnerable spots, early-alarm system to prevent incidents from severe, and also provided complete control through remote monitoring to the Police personnel.

Mr. O.P Singh, Director General - UP Police applauded the planning by quoting, “We employed all kinds of modern surveillance technologies to make this Kumbh Mela a huge success. Simultaneously, the combination of latest surveillance tech and deployment of forces effectively acted in the prevention of mischievous acts and criminal or unpleasant incidents in the fair. For us, it was crucial to maintain safety of the people in the vulnerable spots without intervening with the fair rituals. We received tremendous support from the surveillance teams who helped us in the monitoring of such a massive crowd.”