Mulls various options to help personnel in forests
Pursuing technological interventions in tackling various aspects of red sanders smuggling, the task force officials have employed the services of Global Positioning System (GPS) in their regular operations.
Interfacing their smartphones and tablets with a specialised GPS tracking application/software, the officials are now able to track the movement of their combing parties in Seshachalam forests, augmenting their coordination measures by real-time monitoring, dispatch of police assistance, prevention of crossfire and much more.
Speaking to The Hindu , Task Force Head M. Kantha Rao said that using the GPS has enabled them to monitor the movement of their teams during combing operations and relay the necessary information for better planning and strategy formulation.
“Our focus has been confined to entry/exit and loading points, presently, and we have been regularly deploying our combing parties to check the influx of smuggling operatives at predefined locations. In case of a skirmish, we can observe the coordinates, direction, speed, duration and various other factors, as indicated by the software,” he added.
However, Mr. Rao said, the limitation of this present system of tracking has been indicative in the interiors of the Seshachalam forests, where there is a non-availability of mobile signals. Though, the software caters more effectively to the current strategy of focussing on entry/exit and loading points, it falls short, when the officials have to pursue the operatives deeper into the forest areas.
To overcome such limitations, the task force is evaluating several other alternatives not only in the interiors of the forests but also at the check-posts, dotting along the borders of Chittoor district. On Wednesday, Mr. Rao, accompanied by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A.K. Jha (Vigilance) and B.K. Singh (Tirupati Wildlife), Kurnool Chief Conservator of Forests Gopinath and others, inspected some of the solutions offered by Hyderabad-based Radar Vision.
The company’s representatives elucidated on their IP Surveillance Solution for check-posts, entry/exit and loading points besides other modified solutions for forest-based terrain such as safety pole/solar pole, geotagging using regular and new methodologies such as Google Maps, satellite and Internet of Things.