Delhi Metro has decided to step up its night vigil and introduce hidden cameras alongside the tracks that are susceptible to signalling-cable theft.
The GPRS-enabled cameras will have in-built power back-up and can run without interruption for eight to nine hours.
“We will be able to install a camera surveillance system on the tracks by the end of this year,” a senior security officer of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.
In 2010 there were 40 cases of cable theft while this year 17 such incidents have taken place to date. Of the 17, 10 took place on the track connecting Seelampur and Shastri Park.
Officials said though most of the incidents took place during the night (non-service hours), some happened during the day, causing technical snags that disrupted Metro services.
The stolen cables reach scrap markets and fetch a price of Rs300-500 a kg. The offenders mostly belong to low-income families residing in slums that lie adjacent to the tracks.
Some of the corridors marked for cable theft include the Shastri Park-Seelampur corridor, Yamuna Bank-Indraprastha, Mayur Vihar phase 1-Mayur Vihar Extension, and Saket-Sultanpur. Scrap markets are commonly found in areas such as Nandgiri, Govindpuri, Shastri Park, Kapashera and Seelampur.
“These are the areas where the theft of signalling-cable (made of copper) is highly prevalent. This sometimes has led to service disruption on tracks. Many a time thieves have been caught but no action could be taken against them because most of them were minor,” the officer said.
Cable theft interrupted Metro services on the night of December 28, 2010, on the Noida line.
The inauguration of the Qutub Minar-Gurgaon Metro link on June 21 last year was delayed because of the pilferage of signalling-cables between Sultanpur and Qutub Minar stations.
Besides installing cameras, DMRC has also started the process of sealing the gaps between viaducts and metro pillars so that thieves cannot enter the surface of the tracks, officials said.