CHENNAI: In a boost to the safety of women passengers, the Southern Railway has installed CCTV surveillance cameras in the ladies compartment of an EMU train. The measure is a trial project, which will be carried out on a short-term basis.
Presently, the train is operated from Madras Moore Market Complex Station to Avadi as well as Gummidipoondi. The surveillance cameras have been fitted in two ladies coaches, one at the front and the other at the rear. In total, four CCTV cameras have been fixed per coach at a cost of `70,000.
According to Railway Protection Force (RPF) Senior Divisional Security Commissioner K K Ashraf, the CCTV system contains a high-definition DVR (digital video recorder) for recording the movements within the coach.
It is hoped the cameras would deter crimes such as theft and harassment against women in coaches.
Presently, RPF men manually patrol the trains during the late evening hours.
“During the wee hours, there are instances of unauthorised persons and miscreants entering the ladies coach,” Ashraf said.
One limitation of the system is that there will not be a live transmission feed relaying the video to a control room. “There were concerns about women privacy and hence it was decided not to go for live transmission. If there are any incidents, we will examine the video and use it to catch the offenders,” he said.
There is a provision for RPF officials to take data from the recorder through USB pen drive or other storage devices.
“During the trial period, we plan to retrieve the video and undertake an analysis every week,” he said.
Indian Railways is taking steps to increase surveillance of stations and trains to protect women passengers.
Under the Nirbhaya fund of the Central government, `500 crore has been earmarked for various measures, including installation of CCTV cameras.