The need for electronic surveillance in women coaches in suburban trains for increasing their security will now be taken care at the design stage of rail coaches, with the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai working on pre-installation of Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) in new coaches.
Recently, the coach manufacturing unit informed the Western Railway (WR) that the specifications would be ready in a fortnight.
According to the design being worked on by ICF, there will be four CCTVs per coach, which will be first installed in coaches reserved for women.
Since the pilot was already conducted on WR, which had called for tenders to install CCTVs in four 12-car rakes.
While WR has received offers, the bids have not been opened as the administration is waiting to hear from ICF on the final specifications, which are to be treated as standard.
“We expect to hear from ICF very soon, following which we will check the specifications in the offers that we have received,” said Shailendra Kumar, Divsional Railway Manager (DRM), WR.
If the specifications received by WR are more or less the same as the one decided by ICF, it will go ahead in awarding the contract to the bidder whose specifications match the requirements. In case the specifications are quite different, the WR will revise its specifications to the ones provided by ICF.
“If CCTVs have to be provided in coaches, it makes sense to have them installed at the manufacturing stage itself. The ICF began working on it a while ago and they are almost ready with the design,” said a WR officer, requesting anonymity.
The ICF has been working on the CCTV design for the last two months.
With repeated attacks on women commuters since last year, especially during non-peak hours, the railways decided to install CCTVs in trains. The initial concerns about receiving feeds and a stable image in a moving train have been successfully overcome during the trials conducted this year, said a senior railway official.
The need to monitor women coaches through CCTVs has been felt since the victims in most cases were found to be alone in the compartment at the time they were attacked. Besides, with the security apparatus also helping in acting as evidence against the accused, the railway police is keen on having CCTVs in trains.