Interim Budget allocates Rs 1,000 to install CCTVs in all trains
While critics call it a compromise on safety, railway officials say such a sum is normally issued for a new budget head
It might seem like a joke, but this year's interim budget has allocated a sum of mere Rs 1,000 for the installation of CCTVs in trains. However, railway officials claim this is a token sum normally allocated when a new budget head is opened.
Overall a sum of Rs 357 crore has been sanctioned for the installation of the CCTV system in 10,349 coaches of electrical multiple unit (EMU) local trains, mainline EMU and diesel EMU trains.
A senior railway official said that they had already embarked on the process of installing the cameras and as of now 25 local trains on Central Railway and four on Western Railway have got them. Sources said the new trains are coming with in built ones though the existing fleet of over 250 trains will need to have the system installed.
'Compromise on safety'
"Isn't allocation of mere Rs 1,000 a joke? Such tokenism might lead to a compromise on safety which is of utmost priority on the lifeline of Mumbai," said Subhash Gupta, member of Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee.
However, railway officials refuted the allegation, saying it is normal process when a new budget head is opened, that a token amount is allocated so that the project moves ahead steadily. "Funds are never an issue and it will not lead to any problems. With Rs 357crore sanctioned in this year's interim budget, the project will now move ahead smoothly without any hiccups," a railway spokesperson said.
The Western Railway first began installing cameras onboard local trains in 2015. The system stores data in a digital video recorder which has the capacity to record for 30 days. The data will be used by the RPF and the railway police to ensure the safety of women commuters. With 3 megapixels and wide angles to cover, the cameras have been customised to withstand shock and vibrations, as trains on the suburban section often clock 80-100 kmph.
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