In just two months, from May to June, the Cyberabad and Rachakonda police together have booked over 5,500 cases against those who were not wearing masks.

The cases were registered under Section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act, which was amended in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the police, to identify violators of the ‘Mask On’ rule, artificial intelligence was roped in to make surveillance cameras track down those not wearing masks and alert mobile patrols in the local area to trace such persons.

Apart from ensuring that they wore masks, the cops also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000. The surveillance cameras too with the help of AI identified violators and helped in issuing e-challans.

While nearly 3,000 cases were booked in the Rachakonda police commissionerate limits, the rest were booked in the Cyberabad jurisdiction. The use of computer vision and deep-learning techniques linked to surveillance cameras and AI to track down Mask On rule violations was launched on May 8, first in Cyberabad, Hyderabad and Rachakonda and subsequently extended across the State.

After identifying violators in a particular area, the staff at the Command and Control Centre would pass on information to either Rakshak or Blue Colt police patrol teams, which would then track down the person.

A special eye is being kept on other traffic rule violators as well, since many of them were found to be not wearing masks either. Officials said that motorists wearing full-face helmets without masks were let off, but not those wearing helmets for namesake with no dust protectors or masks.

“Citizens who got challans for violations tend to change their behaviour and start following rules. They are realising that masks are for their own personal safety,” a senior official said.

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