46 digital eyes on Tatanagar vigil

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By PINAKI MAJUMDAR
  • Published 11.11.13
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Tatanagar station has finally hit the tracks to become a safer zone.

Installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, including pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) ones, kicked off at the A-category station, which falls under Chakradharpur railway division of South Eastern Railway (SER), on Saturday. All strategic points on the premises are being brought under 24x7 electronic surveillance as part of a security project that is being implemented by Railway Protection Force (RPF).

“In all, 46 CCTV cameras are being put up at five platforms, entry/exit points and reservation counters. The third eye will also keep a watch on the parking area. The entire project cost is pegged at Rs 1.5 crore,” said officer-in-charge, RPF, Dhananjay Sharma, who is supervising the project.

Till now, 25 CCTV cameras have found perch atop the main station building, entrance, waiting area besides platform Nos. 1, 2 and 3. The highly efficient 5-6 PTZ cameras are for entry, exit points and other such crowded places like the ticket counters. These gadgets are capable of remote directional and zoom control, cover a wide area, have the option of auto delete and can store week-old recordings. RPF officials said work would be completed by mid-week.

According to superintendent of railway police Mritunjay Kishore, the initiative was part of an integrated security system. “In view of security threats at railway stations across the country, SER is installing the integrated system. Tatanagar assumes immense significance from the security point of view as it falls on Howrah-Mumbai main line,” Kishore added.

Hitherto, the station mainly depended on metal detectors for security. In 2010, a private contractor had installed five CCTV cameras at the parking area outside the station, but those are defunct now. But Kishore said they beefed up security whenever there was any terror or Maoist attack in the state or the country. “An alert was sounded at Tatanagar after the recent serial blasts in Patna,” he added.

Station manager Awtar Singh expressed hope that with the installation of the high-tech gadgets, a tab would be kept on suspicious people, criminals and trouble-makers. “The cameras will help us monitor the platforms, parking zone and the circulating area,” Singh added.

Chhotanagpur Passenger Association welcomed the move. “Criminal activities like thefts and pick-pocketing are common at the railway station. Many gangs also operate there. The CCTV cameras will automatically put an end to these crimes,” said S.P. Trivedi, a senior functionary of the association.

A member of Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, Vijay Moonka, also a senior functionary of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, agreed. “CCTV cameras will help railway police manage security better, benefiting both passengers and authorities,” he said.

Tatanagar station witnesses a daily traffic of over 90 mail, express and passenger trains, besides a footfall of 60,000 passengers.

Do you think Tatanagar will be safer now?

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