More railway station to get CCTVs using Nirbhaya Fund | india news | Hindustan Times
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More railway station to get CCTVs using Nirbhaya Fund

RPF, responsible for railway security, has identified 202 so-called sensitive stations for installation of an integrated security system; 983 more stations will be brought under CCTV coverage by using money drawn from the Nirbhaya Fund

india Updated: Apr 20, 2018 07:06 IST
Faizan Haidar
LED lights at the platform of Tatanagar railway station in Jamshedpur, India.
LED lights at the platform of Tatanagar railway station in Jamshedpur, India.(HT File Photo)

Only 394 of the 8,500 railway stations in India are under complete surveillance of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, according to the Railway Protection Force (RPF), raising questions about safety and security at stations where video surveillance systems haven’t been installed and prompting the state-run transporter to put a plan in place to soothe concerns.

RPF, responsible for railway security, has identified 202 so-called sensitive stations for installation of an integrated security system; 983 more stations will be brought under CCTV coverage by using money drawn from the Nirbhaya Fund, set up in 2013 to support initiatives to reinforce security for women. “The lack of cameras at railway stations is a concern and we have been doing audit to install cameras at sensitive stations first. For this year, we have identified 202 stations where, apart from CCTVs, access control will also be improved to prevent any unauthorised entry,” said an RPF officer on condition of anonymity.

The official added, “Stations under ISS will also have passenger and baggage scanning system and bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS).”

Lack of funds and the vastness of areas needed to be covered by video surveillance are at least partly responsible for the low proportion of railway stations that are under complete CCTV surveillance, experts said.

“There is no doubt that CCTV cameras are helpful while investigating a case but railway stations are open from many sides. Because of this, to cover the entire station area under the CCTV coverage is almost impossible,” said Shiv Nath Chak, a former additional director general of Government Railway Police. “There has always been a funds crunch, due to which cameras could not be procured. The presence of cameras makes an impact and deters the criminals also. Now that the government is actively considering installation of cameras at most of the stations, the sense of security among passengers will also increase.”

Overall, the Railways has plans to procure 1.2 million cameras and invest ₹3,000 crore in improving safety. Some of these cameras will also be installed in train coaches.

“The plan to provide CCTV cameras at 983 stations under Nirbhaya Fund has been approved. We have also proposed to install cameras to strengthen surveillance mechanism and to ensure safety and security of passengers at railway stations and trains over entire network of Indian Railways. Funding is contemplated from Nirbhaya fund,” said Nurul Huda, spokesperson for RPF.

ISS cameras that will be procured will come with a video analytics feature and will be able to hold 30 days of footage. The areas which will be covered by the cameras include entry/exit points, concourses, platforms and footbridges.

“Also, automatic vehicle scanners have been recommended for entry gates where vehicles enter the station premises. For detection of explosives, sniffer dogs and vapour detectors have been recommended,” said the RPF officer cited in the first instance.

The ministry of railways, in consultation with the ministry of home affairs, had constituted a committee to recommend a composite security plan for railway security. Based on the recommendation of that committee, the 202 sensitive railway stations were identified across the country.