Railways has accorded this project top priority, with Chairman of Railway Board personally monitoring its progress
New Delhi: A plan to set up 35,000 CCTV cameras that scan every corner of 1,000 railway stations across the country is the NDA government’s latest bid to make woman passengers feel safer. This would be the biggest surveillance system installation by Indian Railways ever.
Following a meeting at PMO last month, Railways has drawn up this plan that would utilise Rs 500 crore from Centre’s Nirbhaya Fund. Signifying priority of the project, Finance Ministry sanctioned it within three days of the meeting at PMO and allocated Rs 200 crore of dividend-free money for this financial year so that work can begin at once. The balance amount will be given next year.
Railways has accorded this project top priority, with Chairman of Railway Board personally monitoring its progress, sources have told.
Last week, Railways included this project in the list of works to be done in 2016-17. Railways will be submitting a monthly expenditure report of utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund to Women and Child Development ministry, which is the nodal authority.
According to sources, the PMO has told Railways that the PM wants the CCTV coverage to be used to monitor station cleanliness as well. The ministry is drawing up a plan in this regard.
Railways has drawn up a list of 1,000 stations (981 to begin with) and has instructed zonal authorities on how much money they would be allowed to spend on the project this year.
Railways plans to install at least 35 CCTV cameras in each station and link the feeds to a server at its divisional headquarters. This feed will be preserved for 30 days. Eventually, all servers might be enabled to converge at one place for a more central monitoring, if needed, sources said.
The hallmark of the project is that bigger stations aside, small stations, right down to category ‘C’ stations — suburban stations and stations in tier-II cities and towns — have been included in this project. Care has been taken to ensure that the project does not overlap with the existing, now age-old project of installing surveillance cameras in 200-odd stations, said sources.