Spy Cams, Drones At Durga Pandals

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Kolkata: This year, when you look up at the goddess with reverence at your favourite pandal, she would look right back at you, literally. The organisers of one of the city’s top draws have decided to gift the goddess a pair of intelligent eyes to watch over her devotees and pick out the mischief-makers.

Singhi Park Sarbojonin, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, will have spy cams hidden in the ‘chalachitra’- the ornamental backdrop for the idols – as one of the many security measures it has adopted.

This apart, there will be drones flying overhead to keep vigil on the crowd.  “These days, untoward incidents keep happening in crowded areas during festivities, so strict vigil is necessary. But there is a limit to the number of security guards we can post. So we are deploying drones with video cams flying above the crowd,” said spokesperson Bhaskar Nandi.

Singhi Park is not the only city pandal to marry tech with tradition. While most big pandals will have a selfie zone to give you the best backdrop, Badamtala Ashar Sangha will set up a WiFi corner from where you can upload pictures immediately. The organisers have also taken the app route to disseminate information.

“Our app is available on Google Playstore and provides all information about the puja as well as the cultural and philanthropic activities that we are engaged in,” said Deepak Kumar, joint-secretary of the puja committee. There are others who have created pages and communities on Facebook, are sending bulk WhatsApp messages to lakhs of people and are webcasting last year’s Puja, with the promise to do the same this year too.