In a bid to prevent male commuters from boarding coaches reserved for women on suburban trains, the Central Railway (CR) is looking to install additional cameras with facial recognition software, reported The Indian Express.
These cameras are expected to aid the process of tracking the past movements of an offender on a local train so as to arrest the person on his next trip.
By the end of 2018, reports state that six such cameras will be installed in each coach of the suburban rakes running under the CR. In total, the railway body is expected to procure to 11,160 such cameras.
This decision was taken following strong complaints of men illegally boarding coaches reserved for women, especially during non-peak hours.
According to The Indian Express, there were three cases in the last six months of women jumping off trains when men illegally board these reserved coaches.
In a country, where public spaces remain unsafe for women, these reserved coaches play a significant role in ensuring safety from unwarranted physical contact.
For instance, the Delhi Metro charges a fine of Rs 250 for any male passenger who illegally boards the coach reserved for women. The freedom of mobility plays a critical role in allowing women to exercise their right to gainful employment.
In the past, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) have complained of substandard cameras at various stations.
“We have asked for a certain set of requirements in the cameras to be procured. Face recognition and analytics must remain the key features of these cameras. After the cameras recognise a face, the technology will be able to trace the movement of that commuter in the past ten days. We plan to catch habitual offenders,” said SK Jain, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of the Central Railways, to the publication.
The entire initiative to procure these cameras is expected to cost Rs 276 crore.