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Securing New Delhi the US way

delhi Updated: May 17, 2008 01:10 IST
Satyen Mohapatra
Satyen Mohapatra
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The busy Platform No 12 of New Delhi Railway Station will soon be secured with Rs 20-crore state-of-the-art security system procured from the US.

Platform No 12 is the entry and exit point from the Ajmeri Gate side and, according to Northern Railways, it handles about two-third of the rush at the station during peak season. Nearly 4 to 5 lakh people use the station per day during peak season.

Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, on Friday, said the new system would be set up within six months as a pilot project at Platform No 12 of the railway station. “If we are able to ensure the security of the public, we will configure it to Indian conditions and apply it to public places like temples, mosques and other places in the country.”

Sibal said access control cannot be enforced in public places because of the sheer number of people that does not allow individual checks and proximity.

He said this system will be “non-intrusive” and mock breach exercises would be carried out to see if it was successful. As far as booked baggage is concerned in the railways, there would be one hundred per cent efficacy, he said.

Stating Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has responded positively to the suggestion, he said once the system is successful and gains acceptability, its cost will also come down to Rs 10 crore.

Central Electronic Limited, the PSU under the Ministry’s administrative control, had been entrusted with the task of sourcing and acquiring the technology.

Chairman and managing director of CEL SK Kicker said the system would have an intelligent central command or a mainframe computer which would receive inputs from sub systems like hand held and walk-in portals for metal detection, inputs from biometric devices, all types of sophisticated array of explosive detectors, including those using chemical luminescence to detect bombs, thermal imaging with infra-red capabilities, X-Ray machines, closed circuit cameras individually controlled and programmed to zoom, alarm systems.”

“Any person detected with any suspicious object would not only be automatically spotted by the central control system even if missed through human error but the intelligent machine would automatically take decision for the right kind of response instantaneously without human intervention. Cameras would track the person, videos would be taken automatically and necessary alert will be issued,” he said.