Railway stations at Bengaluru, Manmad, Bhusawal to get facial recognition tech as test cases

New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) Facial recognition technology backed by artificial intelligence has been installed at Bengaluru, Manmad and Bhusawal stations as test cases to identify and nab criminals, railway officials said on Wednesday.

The objective of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is to link the facial recognition system with existing databases such as the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and systems to identify criminals who may be roaming the railway stations. The real-time face recognition software will alert the RPF command centre of any known offenders.

Officials said that after the facial recognition system is tested, the technology will be implemented across the railway network.

The Railway Board has also given its nod for carrying out works for video surveillance system (VSS) covering 983 stations under Nirbhaya funds, according to a statement issued by the national transporter.

RailTel, a miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, has been entrusted with the work of providing Internet Protocol (IP)-based VSS with video analytics and facial recognition system. Rs 250 crore was allotted to the Indian Railways this year from the Nirbhaya fund for installation of VSS.

To have a better coverage and clearer image, four types of full-HD cameras -- dome type for indoor areas, bullet type for platforms, pan tilt zoom type for parking areas and ultra HD-4k cameras for crucial locations are being provided.

Live feed from CCTV cameras would be displayed on multiple screens at the RPF control room for monitoring. Each HD camera at the station consumes approximately 1TB of data and 4k camera consumes 4 TB data per month.

The video feeds will be stored for 30 days for playback, post-event analysis and for investigation purposes. Important videos can be stored for longer duration.

Under phase one, VSS is being installed at 200 stations across India and till now work has been completed at 81 stations. The South Western Railway (SWR) has recently commissioned video surveillance system at six major stations -- Ballari, Belagavi, Vasco-Da Gama, Bengaluru Cantonment, Bangarpet, Hassan, Shivamogga Town and Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam.

Integrated security systems comprising CCTV have already been installed at 11 stations including Bengaluru, Yesvantpur and Mysuru. With this, the SWR has functional CCTVs at 17 locations and will complete the work in Phase one by having CCTV functional at a total 20 railway stations by end of January 2020.

Security personnel can monitor these cameras not only from station control rooms but also from central security control rooms located at divisional headquarters -- Hubballi, Mysuru and Bengaluru.

IP-based Video Surveillance System (VSS) has also been installed at 10 railway stations of Western Railway namely Bhavnagar Terminus, Udhna, Valsad, Veraval, Nagda, Navsari, Vapi, Viragam, Rajkot, Gandhidham.

These steps are a part of a security plan under the Integrated Security System (ISS) which was approved in 2016 to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 202 railway stations.

The ISS will comprise CCTV cameras, access control, personal and baggage screening system and bomb detection and disposal system which together provide multiple checking of passengers and baggage from the point of entry in the station premises till boarding of train. PTI ASG ASG NSD NSD