Cameras needed at places with more footfalls: SWR
Three railway stations in Bengaluru – Majestic, Whitefield and Baiyapanahalli – are yet to get CCTV cameras despite the government sanctioning Rs 500 crore for installing cameras at 983 stations under the Nirbhaya Fund.
The Observer found one camera each at the entrance and exit of the Majestic railway station – the busiest station with more than 30,000 passengers daily.
There is no CCTV coverage at platforms in these stations.
Divisional commercial manager, South Western Railway, Raushan Kumar said: “CCTV cameras are needed in places with more footfalls. We don’t need cameras in places where people don’t come frequently. Why waste the money by having cameras in places where footfall is so less? We do have them in entry and exit.”
Passengers say CCTV cameras will be a deterrent against crime.
Vinitha R, an employee of an IT company, said: “CCTV cameras are important these days as so many things are happening around us. They should install CCTV cameras everywhere to keep a check on everyone and everything around.”
Harinandh A, a shop owner who uses the station frequently, said: “A lot of crime is prone to happen at railway stations. To keep a watch, cameras should be there. Criminals will be scared they will be caught when they see the cameras everywhere.”
Kaviarasan S, a passenger traveling to Mysuru, said, “CCTV cameras have become a necessity these days. With cameras everywhere, passengers and people who come to the railway station feel safe. CCTV cameras should be installed at every platform for the safety of passengers.”
Experts say that CCTV can be good for monitoring and managing the crowd.
Sanjeev V Dyamannanavar, an urban mobility expert, said: “These cameras are the only way for crowd management. Also, during an emergency, cameras can be used to monitor real-time. If in a city like Bengaluru, CCTV cameras are not installed at railway stations, it will be very difficult to manage safety, over-crowding, and footfalls.”
There is a possibility the railways did not use the funds or did not have sufficient funds. Now that, funds have been allotted, they must install CCTV cameras in all platforms to have a watch over everything, he said. The Railway Protection Force should be able to monitor all parts of the station through CCTV if any problem arises.
According to newspaper reports, in February 2017, minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain had announced that the railways had been provided Rs 500 crore for the installation of CCTV cameras at 983 stations, and that these cameras had been installed at 344 stations.
March 2019 was the deadline for the installation of CCTV cameras at the stations.
On January 3, 2020, railway minister Piyush Goyal informed Parliament that the railways had set a target to install CCTV cameras in more than 7,000 coaches of mainline passenger trains by March 2020.