Hyderabad, July 20: In lieu of the increasing number of smugglers entering the Seshachalam forests, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to put the entire area on e-surveillance. It is said that around 250 fixed towers and 25 mobile units with night vision cameras will be at installed in Seschalam forests.
A network of CCTV cameras have been installed on a pilot basis in 19 locations in Chittoor and Kadapa districts. The Red Sanders trees are planted across 5.16 lakh hectares in Tirupati, Kurnool, Kadapa, Chitoor, Prakasham and Guntur districts.
An official said, "The CCTV camera pilot project was implemented by iVIS company, whe-rein cameras were mo-unted at a height of around 45 feet and vi-deo streaming has be-en done using mobile connectivity."
An effective measure of curbing intrusions, the recordings are analysed in the control room of the company and alerts are sent to the forest department from there. A forest official said, "Due to this pilot project, intrusions came down from 224 in March last year to 15 by September 2015. Since the pilot project is giving encouraging results, it is now proposed to expand the coverage of e-surveillance to all Red Sanders-bearing forest areas in AP."
He further added, "Customs alert units with pre-recorded audio messages and sirens for alerting the staff will be deployed. A central mentoring station will be set up in Hyderabad at iVIS company. Around 24 monitoring personnel in three shifts will be present at the monitoring towers. Around 31 people will be working at the central monitoring station. The project was estimated to cost around Rs 30.94 crore."