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Bokaro hits safety tracks

- 30 CCTV cameras at station as part of security drive

It’s better late than never.

Bokaro railway station, which has always been on the target list of Naxalites and criminals, is the latest one to enter the electronic surveillance club.

The station that comes under Adra division of South Eastern Railway will turn safe and secure with 30 CCTV cameras, including two of the highly sophisticated pan-tilt-zoom cameras, by the end of July. While the installation of the gadgets kicked off on Sunday and is likely to be completed in seven days, officials at the station said the air-conditioning work and setting up of the control room would take another two weeks.

The entire exercise is part of a security project that is being implemented by Railway Protection Force (RPF) across the country. Apart from Bokaro, CCTV cameras are in the process of being installed or already have been installed at six other prominent stations — Jamshedpur (Tatanagar), Kharagpur, Santragachi, Purulia, Adra and Rourkela.

More than Rs 50 crore is being spent on the project.

According to RPF officer Bhola Singh, 12 of the 30 digital cameras earmarked for Bokaro are being put up on platform No. 1. Platform Nos. 2 and 3, which have common entrance and exit points, will get 11 cameras.

The remaining seven will be perched on the railway overbridge, at the top of station building and at other high-altitude places.

“The PTZ cameras, which can move at an angle of 360 degrees, will be mounted atop the main building towards the entrance of the station and near the overbridge. These will help keep an eye on booking counters, parking space, main entrance and nearby areas within a radius of 500sqm,” Singh said.

Sources said that once the cameras are installed and surveillance begins, RPF personnel will be posted at almost all exit and entrance points, who, with the help of these highly efficient gadgets, will be able to provide better protection to passengers, staff and railway property.

Speaking to The Telegraph over phone from Delhi, director-general of RPF Krishna Chowdhury said: “RPF is committed to providing better security and protection not only on trains, but also on station premises. Installation of fixed and moving cameras and other electronic gadgets is a step towards that endeavour. Besides, we will recruiting more personnel to beef up security.”

Located a good 14km from Bokaro steel city, proper security has always been an issue for Bokaro railway station, the highest revenue earner for the railways under Adra division.

The station, which witnesses daily footfall of around 50,000, doesn’t even have metal detectors to scan passengers. Two police posts — one RPF and another Government Railway Police — on platform No. 1 are its only hope during emergency.

Do you think the CCTV cameras will become operational within stipulated time? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com