The long-distance and suburban local trains may soon get close-circuit cameras (CCTVs).
The research and development (R&D) wing of Indian Railways — Research, Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO) — is planning to first install close-circuit cameras (CCTVs) inside long-distance trains. If the move is successful, then the CCTVs will be installed in locals in phase 2 of Mumbai Urban Transport Project.
“But there would be upgraded CCTVs in locals as passenger density is more,” said S.K. Vyas, executive director, telecommunication, RDSO.
They are scrutinising the most preferred points inside coaches where CCTVs can be integrated with other electric connections and provide maximum output in terms of safety. Issues such as constant monitoring and regular maintenance of CCTVs too are being looked into.
“We are testing the feasibility of CCTVs inside trains as a security measure,” said Director General of RDSO, K.B.L. Mittal.
RDSO is studying the impact of CCTVs inside train coaches, how and who would monitor the cameras once placed and their maintenance. “The most likely candidate for monitoring these CCTV cameras would be the guard,” said an RDSO official.
As per the proposal, these CCTVs will be placed inside every coach and connected with a cable. The images transmitted by them would be flashed on a screen in the guard’s cabin.
This move will help railway authorities keep tabs on all commuters and all activities inside the trains. “There is a need for CCTVs to be placed inside coaches, which would allow us in detecting minutest of details in case of any incident,” said a senior railway official. However, the railway officials in Mumbai have doubts about the project.
“We will have to take care of several things including the timely maintenance of CCTVs, constant monitoring, ensuring that all CCTVs function and finally the cost-economics of the project, before going ahead with the plan,” said the senior official.
The railways in Mumbai had designed plans for having CCTVs inside local trains in 2003-04 after a case of crime against woman had occurred inside a local train. “Everything was ready and we just had to fit it in the compartments. But it got scrapped in the design stage,” said a senior railway official on condition of anonymity.
As per the designs prepared then, at least four CCTVs were required in every coach. The railway authorities then took an impact study on how would these CCTVs help them, before the project took off.