New Delhi, April 8: Shan-e-Punjab Express today became India's first train to have CCTV cameras installed in all coaches, as part of Railways' efforts to strengthen security of passengers particularly women travellers.
"We have promised it in the budget and today we have fulfilled our promise," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said after flagging off the CCTV-equipped train from Amritsar through video-conferencing in the national capital.
About 122 surveillance cameras have been installed in all 21 coaches including ladies compartment of Shan-e-Punjab Express at an estimated cost of Rs 36 lakh. "Passengers' security is our prime concern and measures have been taken for it. There are helplines, CCTV and integrated security system being provided at many stations," he said.
The CCTVs have been installed strategically at all doors and Prabhu assured that the new measure will not compromise the privacy of passengers instead will act as deterrent against crime.
The guard's compartment of the New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab Express has been provided with a LCD screen for monitoring CCTV footage in the women's coach for prompt action.
CCTV footage of all coaches are being recorded on a portable device with a storage capacity of one month and can be retrieved by security personnel whenever required. Railways aims to equip more trains with such facilities to curb crime against women and reduce thefts and other such incidents in trains.
If a bulk order of CCTV is given then the cost will come down significantly, he said and added "We want to put it on the fast track and we are working it out." Referring to cyber security, he said it is an issue and we have to address it through technology.
Seeking states' cooperation, he said law and order is a state issue and we have to enhance security at rail premises with state governments' cooperation. Notably, three coaches in a Mumbai suburban train have also been equipped with CCTV cameras on a pilot basis.