Indian Railways has planned to install 19,000 HD CCTV cameras at more than 983 railway stations across the nation. The initiative has been approved under the Nirbhaya Fund, and Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for the initiative in order to ensure round-the-clock security to railway passengers including women.
The cameras are to be installed at railway platforms and waiting areas. Trained RPF personnel will monitor the CCTV camera footage. The concerned station master will also have the access to the CCTV camera footage.
Indian Railways includes about 8,000 stations, out of which only 344 have been installed with CCTV cameras.
Apart from CCTV cameras at railway stations, Superfast express train Shaan-e-Punjab Express has been equipped with CCTV cameras. Similarly, the express train Hamsafar Express and the upcoming Tejas service will also have CCTV cameras. Mumbai suburban service’s ladies compartments are also covered with CCTV cameras under a pilot project.
What is Nirbhaya Fund?
The Nirbhaya Fund was announced by the UPA government in its union budget 2013 with a corpus of 1,000 crore rupees. The fund was announced after the December 16, 2012 gang rape incident, to support initiatives of the government and NGOs that work to protect the dignity and ensure the safety of women in India.
A committee comprising officials from various Indian ministries, including Home Affairs, Women & Child Development, Railways, and Road Transport, had been established for approving schemes proposed under the Nirbhaya Fund.
In April 2015, the Women & Child Development Ministry (WCD) was made the nodal agency to appraise schemes under the Nirbhaya Fund, replacing Home Ministry, which used only one percent of the funds. The Fund is administered by Indian Finance Ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
The two funds that have really taken off under the Nirbhaya Fund include the one stop crisis centres (OSCC) and the universal women’s helpline.