Railways to install video surveillance, facial recognition systems to improve security at stations

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2020 Published on January 10, 2020

File photo

₹250-crore project to be financed by Nirbhaya Fund

Indian Railways (IR) will  be installing a Video Surveillance System (VSS) across 983 stations, with video analytics and facial recognition software, according to a Railway Ministry press release.

The   Ministry has upped the ante when it comes to security at stations by investing in artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled, Internet Protocol (IP)-based CCTV systems complete with facial recognition software.

The provision of the IP-based VSS will be financed by the Nirbhaya Fund, with a budget allocation of ₹250 crore. The Railway Board has entrusted the task of developing and deploying the system to RailTel, a Miniratna PSU.

The surveillance system will be installed across multiple areas of the station including platforms, waiting rooms, entrance/exit, reservation counters, parking areas, foot overbridges and booking offices.

Four types of cameras

Four different types of camera — dome type for indoors, bullet type for platforms, pan tilt zoom for parking areas and ultra HD 4K for crucial locations   — will be provided as part of the surveillance system, according to the release. The monitoring of the CCTV footage will be carried out from the Railway Police Force (RPF) control room. The CCTV recording will be stored for 30 days for monitoring and investigating purposes, whereas   crucial footages will be stored for a longer duration by the RPF.

The surveillance system will be backed by AI and linked to the existing crime and criminal details database to spot known criminals at railway stations, according to a report in the Financial Express.

SWR commissions project

The project is being tested out in phases nationwide whereas the South-Western Railway (SWR) has already commissioned the VSS at the stations in Ballari, Belagavi, Vasco da Gama, Bengaluru Cantt, Bangarpet, Hassan, Shivamogga Town and Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam, according to the Railway Ministry statement.

An integrated surveillance system has   been installed at 11 stations across the South Western Railway Line. Bengaluru, Manmad and Bhusawal railway stations have been provided with facial recognition technology backed by AI, reported Financial Express. The SWR has set a target of functional CCTVs at 20 different stations by the end of January.

The system was tested earlier in Bengaluru in the presence of SWR officials with no crowd interruption. According to a report in The Hindu, 100 per cent facial recognition and matching was achieved.

For the IP-based VSS, 10 different stations across Gujarat have been equipped with high-tech cameras: Bhavnagar Terminus, Udhna, Valsad, Veraval, Nagda, Navsari, Vapi, Viragam, Rajkot and Gandhidham.

“This Video Surveillance System is expected to ensure better security for passengers at railway stations, and for railway property,” said the Ministry in its statement.

Phase 1 testing

Following the successful completion of phase 1 testing, the surveillance systems will be installed throughout the railway network across the country, reported Business Standard.

The whole system is part of IR’s Integrated Security System (ISS), the plan for which had been approved in 2016.

Published on January 10, 2020
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