But first, let me take a selfie...

Jul 06, 2016, 08:48 IST | Shashank Rao

...is what all RPF staff might start their day with if the WR’s proposal on having a monitoring app is given the green light

Vigilance aside, RPF staff will have to up their selfie game. To keep tabs on the constabulary, Western Railway (WR) has sent a proposal on having an exclusive monitoring app for the RPF that will offer face and fingerprint recognition, and send the staff’s locations at regular intervals.

BSF jawans show how it is done. Pic for representation
BSF jawans show how it is done. Pic for representation

A WR official said the app is being developed although the go-ahead is yet to be given. “If implemented, every RPF staff will have to access the app.”

As per the proposal, at the start of each day, the RPF staff will have to scan their fingerprints and take a selfie. The information fed into the app will be relayed to and stored in a centralised database.

The nitty-gritty, like a call on the periodicity of the app’s usage, the kind of mobile phones needed, battery issues and administrative permissions, are still being worked on.

“The proposal on implementing the monitoring app is with the authorities. The system will be introduced as soon as we get a go-ahead,” says Anandvijay Jha, senior divisional security commissioner (Mumbai), WR.

The plan takes off from last month’s meeting, which decided to watch the 900-odd constabulary with an eagle eye.

WR officials point out that most people today sport smartphones and are constantly connected with each other online. Taking selfies and uploading them on the app will, therefore, be no hassle.

Spate of thefts
Sources in the WR say the plan is part of measures for tighter vigilance in the wake of thefts of copper wires of signals, railway track material and battery boxes from sub-stations. Such equipment keep the trains up and running. Till June, 38 cases of theft of material worth Rs 2.8 lakh from railway premises were registered. The authorities suspect that unscrupulous RPF staff and railway officials could have a hand in such thefts.

The app will, therefore, constantly monitor them.

How the app works
>> Acrylic sheets will be placed inside stations, local trains and railway yards.

>> When an RPF staffer logs into the app, a QR will code, specific to each location and person, will be generated.

>> Whenever, the staffer starts his/her day and/or goes to a location where the acrylic sheets are placed, s/he will have to take a selfie. This photo will be saved on a database. The staff will have to follow the same process inside trains.

>> Acrylic sheets to be placed near light poles so that there is optimal lighting at night to take photos.

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