Telangana Police decided to intensify the crackdown against mask violators as most people were ignoring the rule pertaining to compulsory wearing of face masks in public.

After Hyderabad, Ramagundam and Rachakonda Police Commissionerates were placed in second and third places in mask violations with 938 and 670 cases respectively. “We are enforcing the mask rule strictly to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the second wave. 

We are not only booking cases after capturing images of violators through surveillance cameras but also manually by the law and order and traffic police,” a senior police officer told.

The violators are required to pay the fine online only, he said. A few days ago, Director-General of Police M Mahendar Reddy gave instructions to the Police Commissioners and Superintendents of Police (SPs) in districts to strictly enforce mask rule.

The police are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and using surveillance cameras to track down those not wearing masks and then get mobile patrols in the area to reach out to

such persons and make them wear masks, apart from penalising them. The AI technology was effectively used for the first time in the State when Covid was at its peak in May 2020. According to officials, using deep learning technique linked to surveillance cameras, the police are strictly enforcing the mask rule.

As surveillance cameras are installed in every nook and corner of the city, the police first identify the person not wearing a mask through CCTVs from the Command and Control Centre. After identifying such people in a particular area, the staff at the Command and Control Centre pass on the information to either Rakshak or Blue Colt police patrol teams.

These patrol teams approach the person and ensure that he or she wears a mask after registering an e-Petty case and generating a challan of Rs 1,000, officials said. As many as 6,65,000 cameras installed across Telangana are helping the police trace motorists who are not wearing masks. A challan is generated with the help of vehicle registration number and delivered to violator’s residential address.

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