Mumbai: Soon, local trains on Western Railway will be able to keep an eye on the tracks and on the motorman. Western Railway (WR) will be installing closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in all its 110 rakes, at both ends, for which a token amount of Rs 1,000 has been allotted in the Union Budget, though the total sanctioned cost is Rs 2.80 crore. These cameras will serve as the equivalent of a black box inside a local train that will store audio-video data in case of an accident, derailment, collision or any untoward incident.
This measure will also help identify trespassing-prone spots on the suburban system. Each year, on an average, around 3,000 deaths occur on the railway tracks in Mumbai, of which over 60 per cent happen when people cross the tracks after illegally entering the rail premises.
“These CCTVs will allow us to keep a tab on the openings people use to trespass on rail tracks, identify spots where trespassing deaths happen more often, so that corrective steps can be taken. Apart from this, it will also allow us to keep a watch on the motorman, the guard inside the driving cab and also derive proof in case of technical failures,” a senior Western Railway official said.
Death on the tracks is a costly affair; not only does a family lose an earning member but the Railways must pay compensation to the family. Senior railway officials said that each year, Rs 350 crore is allotted, to budget for settling the claims of families whose kin have died in railway accidents, wherein for each case proved, an average sum of Rs 8 lakh is paid.
According to sources, in this Budget, the WR has received Rs 2.80 crore, for crew voice and video recording. “This feature will surely boost the train running safety on the suburban system,” said Sumit Thakur, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway.
The authorities will also be able to see the role played by a motorman and guard in the case of an accident or when the train overshoots the platform or crosses a signal dangerously. On trial basis, the AC local has been fitted with CCTV cameras on both ends, to check their recording capability, image quality and night vision, among other parameters.
The WR has been allowed to instal these video surveillance cameras simultaneously on 1,318 stations, at a sanctioned cost of Rs 303 crore, for which Rs 10 lakh has been allotted in the 2021-22 Budget. This IP-based video surveillance system will be installed at railway stations, waiting halls, reservation counters, parking areas, main entrance/ exit, platforms, foot overbridges, booking offices and so on.
The Railway Board has approved works for the provision of a video surveillance system covering 983 stations over Indian Railways under the Nirbhaya Fund. On February 1, the WR inaugurated its control room at Churchgate. This system will enable video analytics and facial recognition systems for better coverage and clearer images. Four types of full HD cameras – dome type (for indoor areas), bullet type (for platforms), pan-tilt zoom type (for parking areas) and ultra HD- 4K cameras (for entry/exit locations) are being provided.
On the Churchgate-Virar stretch, 2,729 VSS cameras will be installed. Each HD camera at the station consumes approximately 1TB of data, while a 4K camera consumes 4TB data per month. The recording of the video feeds from CCTV cameras will be stored for 30 days for playback, post-event analysis and for investigation purposes.