The installation of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) in all local trains is still a long way off. A month ago, Western Railway installed CCTV cameras in the ladies coach of a train on trial basis. The cameras were fitted inside one of the ladies’ compartments and inside the guard and motorman’s cabins. The authorities are unhappy with the images captured by the cameras, which cost Rs 31 lakh for one rake.
The plan is that in all trains, the motorman’s coach and adjacent ladies coaches will have CCTV cameras for the safety and surveillance of female passengers. “We installed the cameras in the ladies coaches of one rake on a trial basis. But after monitoring it for over a month, we decided to do a recheck and review our decision to give the contract to the same provider,” said a senior official from Western Railway.
Train number 2261 of Western Railway was fitted with cameras, in the ladies compartments and motorman’s cabin. The intention of fitting the CCTV cameras in the motorman’s coach is to monitor the number of trespassers and to keep an eye on the motormen. “There have been many incidents where the motormen allow friends or colleagues into the cabin and this distracts them leading to accidents,” added the official.
The cameras on trial were fitted when Pawan Kumar Bansal, former railway minister, visited the city to inaugurate the Dahanu-Virar local. According to railway officials, the work was done in a hurry in order to impress the minister.
“The camera provides limited coverage and shaky pictures. There is no use wasting lakhs of rupees on cameras that don’t work well,” the official added. The railways were planning to install 22 CCTV cameras in each rake, which includes six cameras in each of the ladies coaches, two in the motorman’s cabin and two in the guard’s cabin.
Sandeep Silas, divisional railway manager (WR), said, “The feedback of the CCTV cameras installed in the local train is not good but we are thinking of some other options for the safety and security of female passengers.”