Rail Budget 2015: Women's coaches to get CCTV cams on trial basis

Feb 27, 2015, 11:05 IST | Shashank Rao

Railway authorities will install at least six surveillance cameras inside one of the coaches of a suburban local train on a pilot basis; the footage will be monitored by the railway police

In a big step towards ensuring women’s safety, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that CCTV cameras will be installed inside coaches of suburban and long-distance trains. In local trains, the project will be carried out on a pilot basis in one women’s compartment, and then be taken forward based on the results of the trial.

Illustrations/Amit Bandre

In his Railway Budget speech yesterday, Prabhu invoked the all-important matter of safety of women commuters and travellers, saying CCTV cameras would be provided on a trial basis. “They (CCTV cameras) will be installed inside selected main line coaches and ladies’ compartments of suburban coaches without compromising on their privacy,” he said.

Based on how the experiment plays out, the project would gradually expand and the facility will be made available in all women’s compartments in suburban trains. Western Railway (WR) has already executed a pilot project inside one of the women’s compartments of a local train. “The main problem was that the images were getting distorted while the train was in motion.

However, this can be taken care of,” said a senior railway official. At least six such cameras are proposed to be installed in a regular women’s compartment of a local, but the exact number will depend on the length of
the coach. Officials said the measure would cost around R2 lakh per coach and a proper tendering process will be carried out before deciding on the agency that will install the cameras.

The modalities of the project, such as the location, angle and other parameters of the cameras, are yet to be decided. “The agency which has installed cameras inside the Metro rail in Mumbai will be carrying out a survey for suburban locals, too,” said a railway official.

Authorities conceded that, once the project is expanded to all trains, it would be difficult to monitor each and every compartment at the same time on all 215 rakes running on Central and Western Railways. These CCTVs will mainly be helpful for going back to the scene of crime that gets captured. The railway police will monitor the footage.

Railway authorities have already installed CCTV cameras as a pilot project inside one of the Rajdhani Express trains between Mumbai and Delhi. There are two cameras at each door of the coach one to capture the entry and one for the exit. The devices are located near the gate or above the washbasin and the feed is monitored in a special cabin in the pantry car.

AC train dream may come true
In another positive move, minister Suresh Prabhu said yesterday that Mumbai’s dream of having an air-conditioned local train could come true soon. “It is also proposed to introduce air-conditioned EMU service on the Mumbai suburban sections after comprehensive assessments of ongoing trials,” said Prabhu.

Sources here in Mumbai said these trains are being developed at Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. “The trials for these AC locals are likely to begin in October and these coaches will come to Mumbai in the next three months,” said a senior railway official.

The AC local will be equipped with a new type of sandwich flooring, imported vestibules, etc and will have to take on loads that no other AC train in India experiences. WR is also working on a closed-door system for a non-AC local train at the Mahalaxmi car shed.

This train is expected to have better ventilation. The batch of 70 remaining Bombardier rakes is expected to come by 2017. The two Bombardier prototypes currently in the city are expected to begin service from March. Apart from this, the railways are also getting new coaches, including coaches for 12-car EMUs, at a proposed cost of Rs 2,350 crore.

Rs 2 lakh
Estimated cost of CCTV surveillance per coach of a suburban local train

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