‘Intelligent’ CCTVs at Mumbai railway stations

The Closed-Circuit Television cameras (CCTV cameras or CCTVs) currently installed at Mumbai’s railway stations are a pixelated grainy apology for a crime-fighting device. That, however, might not be the case in the future if the plans with the railway ministry are anything to go by. The railway ministry’s ambitious Integrated Security System guidelines, made by the Research Design Standards Organisation, speak of intelligent cameras that can do everything from recording an entire event to recognising faces and vehicle number plates to distinguishing between a normal sound and that of a gunshot.

The smart CCTV

Not only will the CCTV monitor the event unfolding but also capture the entire theatre of action on a 2D map. It will plot out all the resources available to tackle a situation. It will have an Incident Management System to identify the activities required in tackling the situation, like a ‘to do list’. It will go on to record every bit of communication that goes into tackling a crisis and monitor the calls made to the authorities and those on the field fighting. Every bit of equipment — cameras, baggage scanners and other devices — will be plotted on GIS aerial maps, building floor plans and blueprints.

Vehicle and driver monitor

Railway CCTVs are in the process of turning into vehicle number-recognising cameras that for years have been the backbone of the famed London congestion charge system. These cameras will have the ability to scan the number plates of vehicles that come at termini — CST and Kurla LTT — and store them in the central database to be retrieved later in case of any untoward incident, said officials.

A provision of capturing the image of the driver is also being added in order to increase the safety at CST and Kurla LTT, which see thousands of vehicles everyday, as well as other stations. With the expansion of Kurla terminus to run more trains in the future and the large parking slots available at both Kurla and CST, officials say the number recognition cameras will be of great help. In London, these cameras keep a watch on the areas that fall under the congestion tax zone.

The crowd-controller, tout-evicter

In what might be a first on Indian Railways, the CR is planning to set up an ‘intelligent’ CCTV network that will monitor crowds and queues at the CST Passenger Reservation System Centre. The CST PRS will be connected to the control room by cameras such that any disturbance in the queue would automatically raise an alarm in the control room. It’ll also sound an alarm if there is an unusual movement of people in a particular direction. The next step to streamline the system would be to build a data bank of ticket touts and use the CCTV system to evict them from the premises.



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