The railways are planning to upgrade the closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at important stations with a face detection feature in them. Police officials say the surveillance cameras currently installed at the stations are of low image quality and resolution, which makes it difficult for them to recognise faces and catch miscreants on the basis of the footage.
As part of a Rs 25.25-crore integrated security system under which baggage scanners and metal detectors are also procured, the railways now plan to put up 784 new CCTVs.
In the first phase, Central Railway (CR) will be installing the CCTVs at six stations: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Dadar, Kurla, Thane, Kalyan and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla).
Anil Sharma, chief security commissioner, CR, spoke of the benefits of upgrading the system. “We can feed in information about those with past criminal records in the software of these new CCTVs. The software will then easily identify the miscreants through the face detection system.”
The officials plan to feed in details and pictures of vagabonds, beggars, thieves, robbers, rapists, molesters and touts who illegally sell at railway stations. Whenever any of these suspects shows up in the surveillance, an indication will be sent to the control room.
Apart from station buildings and platforms, the CCTV cameras will also be installed in railway yards to keep an eye on theft or sabotage. “These CCTVs, purchased and installed under the integrated security system, can identify people easily,” said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.
On the other hand, the railway authorities don’t seem to be interested in installing the latest CCTVs at many stations, especially those in the northern belt. Out of 136 railway stations in the suburban section — which also include six terminuses for long-distance trains — CCTVs have been installed only at 46 stations.
Of the 36 stations where CCTVs are yet to come, the CR has ignored major stations like Ulhasnagar, Asangaon, Bhivandi, Airoli, Kasara, Khopoli, Matheran and Diva. Western railway hasn’t installed CCTVs at 10 stations beyond Virar, including Palghar, Dahanu, Bordi, Boisar and Vaitarna.