₹123cr plan to install CCTVs, talk-back systems in all local trains on Mumbai’s western line

Authorities have sent proposal to the Railway Board for approval; after Elphinstone Road stampede, passenger safety has been prioritised

mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2017 00:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Authorities want to install CCTVs and talk-back systems on all 95 trains running on the western line.(HT File)

In a bid to make the daily commute of its 35 lakh passengers in Mumbai safer, the Western Railway (WR) has come up with a Rs123-crore plan of installing Close Circuit Televisions (CCTV) cameras inside all suburban local trains, as well as a talk-back system in the women’s compartments.

WR authorities have sent the proposal to the Railway Board, the policy-making body of Indian Railways, for approval. The decision to install CCTVs and talk-back systems in trains was taken after marathon meetings conducted by Union railway minister Piyush Goyal following the Elphinstone Road station stampede, which claimed the lives of 23 commuters on September 29.

Sources in WR said the installation of CCTVs in all local coaches will cost around Rs 111 crore, and the talk-back system fitments will come to another Rs 12 crore. Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of WR, confirmed that the WR recently sent two separate proposals for CCTV and talk-back system installations on local trains to the railway board.

Up to eight CCTVs will be fitted in each coach of the a local train, so the estimated cost of CCTV installation in each 12-coach train is around Rs 1 crore, a senior official said, requesting anonymity. “The train guard could monitor the CCTVs,” the official said. He added that they have been given a target of 15 months, by which the project must be completed.

Similarly, the talk-back system in the women’s compartments is estimated to cost around Rs 12 lakh each train. The system will allow women commuters to speak to the guard in the train directly in case of emergencies. Recent incidents inside women’s compartments have forced authorities to consider this option, the official said.

The WR has fleet of around 100 trains. Railway authorities have already installed CCTV and talk-back systems in a few coaches on an experimental basis. Sources said that after the stampede, authorities have prioritised passenger safety over everything else, and are fast-tracking projects that will help improve security on Mumbai’s rail network.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 17:01 IST