MUMBAI: 210 station cameras do not capture useful footage as their view is obstructed or they are not looking in right direction. They are now being re-positioned
A review of video surveillance at railway stations has painted a grim picture: over 200 cameras are positioned so badly that they do not record any useful footage for security officials.
Some cameras are fixed so close to tube lights that the glare blanks them out. Some have been installed so high that they don’t capture commuters’ movements at station entrances and exits. Many others are simply not looking in the right direction. Even if any footage is recorded, faces are not visible, which defeats the surveillance effort.
The bid to secure women’s compartments through platform cameras has also suffered because of bad placement. Now, authorities have decided to re-position or relocate 210 cameras on the suburban train networks. Seventy are located at Western Railway’s stations and 140 at Central Railway’s stations.
Authorities started installing cameras at stations after the November 2008 terror attacks. The placement woes came to light after a series of inspections were conducted and footage of all cameras was reviewed. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) was then alerted.
The problem exists at Churchgate, CST, Dadar, Kurla, Thane, Kalyan, LTT, Bandra, Andheri and Borivali, among others. The positions of some cameras have already been corrected. “We have completed the relocation of 10 cameras from problematic spots. The work was started after the Government Railway Police brought the issue to our notice,” said WR’s Divisional Railway Manager, Sanjay Mishra.
CR’s chief public relations officer, Sunil Udasi, said the work had also begun on the Central Line. Separately, CR plans to cover footbridges with 206 new cameras. The signalling and telecom departments of the two networks are relocating and re-positioning the cameras with the RPF’s help.
“Our survey revealed some crimes were not being detected because cameras were not covering key station areas properly. We alerted senior officials and the issue is now being addressed,” an officer with the GRP said.