In a first, Indian Railways has been allocated a share of the Nirbhaya Fund to implement an ongoing scheme to install CCTV surveillance systems at railway stations and Ladies Special trains and women compartments in suburban trains.
Facing a funds crunch, the state owned transporter in past years has been unable to go full-steam ahead to execute the “composite security plan” that incorporates the task of installing CCTV cameras.
In the last eight years since the launch of the plan, these systems have been mounted at just 344 of the total of 7,500 railway stations across the country.
With Rs 500 crore having now been sanctioned for release from the Nirbhaya corpus, targets to fix these cameras at 983 additional stations have been set for the current fiscal.
Created in 2013 in memory of the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim, the Nirbhaya Fund supports the government and the non-government sector initiatives to uphold the dignity and ensure security of women.
Among ongoing schemes on women security, an app called the Railway Mobile Instant Tracking Response and Assistance (R-MITRA) has been in operation in the Kolkata-based Eastern Railways.
The app – connected through the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) systems – provides instant alerts to the strategic cell of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), when women in distress push the alert button on their mobiles. In the last two years, the app has been downloaded 20,000 times.
Developed by a company called the Technofaction Software Private Limited, the app – which can work in both the online and offline modes – will get extended to other railway zones, an official said. “A pilot project is currently being carried out in the Mumbai suburban”, an official informed.
An all-India helpline number (182) has also been available. “During the last year, 8,500 calls were made and 92% of the cases have been satisfactorily resolved”, an official said.
“We are also working at providing RPF women escorts on majority of ladies compartments or trains running on suburban routes”, an official said.