Railway starts installation of CCTVs in Ladies’ compartments on CR & WR

Mumbai:  This might be a boost for women commuters’ safety. After two failed trials to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in a local train coach, the railway authorities have finally managed to get a satisfactory result.

“The trials, conducted in a ladies’ coach of a Western Railway (WR) rake for the past few weeks, has thrown up images that don’t shake too much and don’t break into pixels if they are zoomed into,” said officials, who monitored the trials.

The successful trial is a morale booster for the railways because the two earlier trials – by Central Railway (CR) two years ago and another by WR a year and a half ago – were not successful.

“During the earlier trials, the images were blurred because of the train movement. On some stretches where the train tends to wobble, the images were really poor,” said an official.

He added that the clarity of images is important because more than live monitoring – which at the moment is a technical hurdle – the CCTV cameras are expected to be a handy post-event tool to investigate any crime.

This time around, said officials, the CCTV cameras were fixed on the partition along the train’s gangway in such a way that the movement did not affect the images.

The successful trial paves way for the railways to test CCTV cameras in more rakes and add them as security device in ladies’ coach.

Sharat Chandrayan, Chief Public Relations Officer of WR, said: “The trials have been satisfactory and we plan to install CCTV cameras in four or five more rakes to test them further.”

The WR trials were important since earlier this year the Railway Board had told CR not to go ahead with the installation of CCTV cameras in its trains, even for trials, till the WR’s trial reports came in.

Live monitoring of images relayed by CCTVs in ladies’ coaches is still a faraway proposition as it would involve installation of several towers along the railway route – something that the railway ministry feels is an expensive proposition.