The railway ministry has decided to entrust the live-monitoring of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside ladies coaches of suburban trains nationwide (Mumbai too) to the guard of the train.
The guard of a suburban train, as of now, is responsible for the safety of the train, ensuring that the motorman is alert and also that the train moves from the platform only when everyone is safely on board.
This decision was taken at a top level meeting at the Railway Board chaired by member (Mechanical) Alok Johri on Wednesday, and was attended by top Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials from across the country.
"The current set-up, where RPF personnel monitor images from the static CCTV cameras installed at railway stations, was found to be unsuitable for monitoring live images from CCTV cameras in a running train. Since various aspects of passenger safety on a local train is entrusted to the guard, the consensus was that monitoring CCTV feed from ladies coaches also be entrusted with him. The system will be such that in case of an untoward incident inside the coach, the guard can contact the operational and RPF control and get the situation rectified," said a senior railway official.
Technical aspects of the CCTV system that would be installed inside the coaches was also discussed and debated extensively, said officials. The system that is currently being thought of for suburban locals is the one that is seen in various metros in the country. "It is the one that's there in the train systems in almost all advanced nations; there is no reason why India's system should be an exception.
Western Railway is currently testing the CCTV system in one of its ladies coaches. General manager Hemant Kumar said in his Independence Day speech on Friday that the trials were shaping up well.
"The trials have thrown up images that don't shake too much and don't break into pixels if zoomed into. This is because the cameras have been fixed on the steel partition along the gangway," said officials who monitored the trials.