Chhattisgarh Police use app to keep an eye on home quarantined people

Apart from Janjgir-Champa, other districts in the range are Bilaspur, Mungeli, Korba and Raigarh.

In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, police in Chhattisgarh's Janjgir-Champa district have created a mobile application to keep tabs on those violating the home quarantine order, an official said.

Nearly 6,200 people, most of them with a history of travel to foreign nations or other affected states in India, are being kept under home quarantine in Janjgir-Champa district.

"With a large number of people in home quarantine, it is not possible to keep each one under surveillance on a regular basis. So, we decided to use the digital mechanism to tackle the issue," Janjgir-Champa Superintendent of Police Parul Mathur told PTI on Tuesday.

The police, with the help of Noida-based startup Mobcoder, developed the app 'Rakhsa Sarv', which enables them to track the quarantined people through Google Map. Details of the home-quarantined people are being fed in the app's dashboard, Mathur said.

Police teams have started installing the application in the phones of those kept under home quarantine and so far, over 50 per cent of such people have been covered, she said.

"The quarantined person will have to upload a selfie in the app every hour which will specify his/her location.

If the person steps out of the house (along with mobile) and reaches the prescribed limit of 200 metres, the app will send an alert to the local police station," she said.

If the home-quarantined people turn off the phone or location or internet connection, in that case also the app sends an alert to the police station, she said. This allows the police keep a tab of those who break the quarantine protocol and take action accordingly.

"We respect the privacy of home quarantined residents and they will automatically be removed from the tracking system once their quarantine period ends. All the data is encrypted. We just want to ensure the safety of the community, the official said.

Inspector General, Bilaspur Range, Dipanshu Kabra said they want to use the technology more and more for community and self-policing.

"This is a great initiative and will be replicated in other parts of the Bilaspur Range," Kabra said.

Apart from Janjgir-Champa, other districts in the range are Bilaspur, Mungeli, Korba and Raigarh.

Besides keeping tab through the app, regular patrolling in areas of home quarantined people will also be done by police because if these people leave the phone at home and move out, there is no way to trace them through the app, another official said.

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