Bangalore: Suburban and special/premium trains under the South Western Railway are likely to have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras soon as part of a larger plan of the railways to ensure safety of women and check crimes in trains.
The proposal on installing CCTV cameras, which had been pending for long, has been cleared. But it’s unclear when the cameras will actually be installed in trains under the SWR. Sanjiv Agarwal, Division Railway Manager, Bengaluru, said that they were yet to receive information about which trains under the SWR would be equipped with CCTV cameras. “Suburban trains are most likely to have the cameras first, followed by special/premier trains,” he added.
CCTV cameras were first installed in trains under the Northern and Southern railway zones as a pilot project. The railway budget for 2015-16 mentioned installing CCTV cameras in suburban and premier trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani, etc.
According to railway officials, since the prime objective of installing CCTV cameras is to make women feel safer, the Nirbhaya Fund would be utilised for the purpose. Nirbhaya Fund was set up to spend on issues of women’s safety, following the Delhi gang rape of 2012.
The new system will help keep tabs on miscreants harassing women passengers in trains. The railways registered the highest number of molestation cases on running trains in 2013-2014. There were also incidents of assault on women in railway compartments. Surveillance cameras would be installed in select coaches and personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) would monitor them. CCTV cameras at railways stations are monitored by RPF personnel.
But the big question is, will the move achieve its intended objective? That’s difficult to say, according to Sudha S, who travels frequently from her hometown Bhopal to Bengaluru where she lives.
She feels the move may not act as a deterrent to molesters. “CCTV cameras may record men molesting women in trains or thieves decamping with passengers’ valuables. But will that result in the security personnel catching the offenders in trains?
The railways should first deploy enough security personnel, only then can the cameras help,” she reasoned.