Deploying technology to ensure safety of devotees and better crowd control, police officers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have developed mobile apps to make the lives of lakhs of devotees easier who are going for a holy dip during the 12-day river Krishna pushkars commencing on August 12. The apps are now available for download for free at Google Play Store. More than 3 crore pilgrims are expected to take a dip in the river in the two states during the 12-day festival.
In Telangana, Mahabubnagar district which has 52 bathing ghats, lakhs of people are expected to take the holy dip. While elaborate security arrangements are being made by the district police, to bring inefficiency in the force deployment and to ensure effective service delivery to the citizens, technology will be widely used.
Mahbubnagar SP Rema Rajeshwari said that they have launched “krisP” (Krishna Pushkaralu-Mahabubnagar Police) a navigation app to facilitate easy direction services and ready reference to the Krishna Pushkar pilgrims. The android app was developed by a team of officers – D V Srinivasa Rao (Additional SP), Kalmesh Shingenavar, IPS, (ASP Shadnagar) and Ravindra Prasad (Circle Inspector of Amangal).
Starting today, this application is freely available on Google Play Store.
SP Rema Rajeshwari said, the app covers details of all Pushkara Ghats in the district and their importance; Google navigation to all Ghats from all the district head quarters; c) Live updates about traffic and crowd at each Ghat; d) Contact numbers of Police officers of all Pushkara Ghat areas; e) Route map for traffic diversions on all the highways and other Pushkara Ghat roads in the district are available; f) Dos and Don’ts to be followed by pilgrims at Pushkara ghats; g) Dos and Don’ts to be followed on road by the drivers and owners of the vehicles coming for Pushkaralu.
Mahbubnagar Police also launched the e-Bandobust software – a force deployment and management system at the various ghats and traffic segments. This web-based application is used for planning and coordination and SMS-based coordination helps in communicating with the officers and personnel quickly. Duty Tickets are also communicated through SMS, helping the police personnel to know where to go and whom to report to. It has templates to manage specific events.
A similar app has also been developed by Nalgonda Police. According to SP N Prakash Reddy, the app will provide devotees details of Pushkar ghats in Nalgonda and provide route maps with traffic updates. “You can also access information on parking places, nearest ATMs, hospitals, fuel stations, police stations, hotels and lodges, contact numbers of all police officers deployed at the ghats, nearby temples and tourist destinations. The app also gives alerts on traffic jams and overcrowding, if any, at any of the ghats,” an official said.
Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Department and AP Police also launched a mobile app to provide information to devotees coming to take the holy dip at Vijayawada, and at various places in Krishna district. From route maps, information and updates about crowds at each ghat to emergency service numbers, traffic updates, hotel and transportation services, cultural events schedule, current location of the user on maps, SoS alert button, availability of priests to perform rituals, shlokas to be chanted during the bathing ritual, materials needed for puja, everything can be done on a smart phone. If a person is unable to download the app, he can access a website krishnapushkaram.ap.gov.in.
Officials say crowd management and control and safety of devotees at the ghats is of great concern and the app will help citizens to know which places are overcrowded, which places to avoid due to traffic jams, and choose the right place for a better experience the pushkar happens once in 12 years only. At least seven mobile apps developed by various authorities for Krishna pushkar at Vijayawada are now available at Google play store.
“Devotees don’t have to run around looking for anything. All they have to do is download the app and search for whatever service or information a person is looking for..it is all there in the app with latest updates,” a tourism department official said. The Indian Railways and Rail Ministry has also released an android app for Krishna Pushkaralu by 4G Labs and is on twitter RailMinIndia #KrishnaPushkaralu.