Indian Railways Upgrading Security: Installing Facial Recognition Technology

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The Indian Railways have been facing a huge issue of curbing the criminal activities at the railway stations. Many criminals, especially during the festive seasons take advantage of the crowd at the stations to carry out their illegal activities and hardly they get caught. However, things are going to change very soon as the Indian Railways in 2020 will be getting a major security upgrade. The Manman and Bhusawal railway stations in Bengaluru (Bangalore) have already received the security upgrade.

Indian Railways is getting an AI (Artificial Intelligence) based Facial Recognition technology in order identify the criminals and nab them. According to a leading news agency in India, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) wants to identify the criminals who are there at the railway stations by linking their existing database like Criminal Tracking Network and Systems with the AI backed Facial Recognition System.

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As the Facial Recognition System will come into effect, the RPF command centre will get alerts on Real-Time basis as and when the system will detect any known offenders. As the testing of this system will be completed, the technology will make its way across all the Indian Railways network.

According to the statement that was issued by the Indian Railways, the board has also given the green signal to a project wherein the Video Surveillance Systems (VSS) will be upgraded and/or installed at almost 1,000 railway stations and will be funded from Nirbhaya Funds.

RailTel, a mini Ratna PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) of the Railway Ministry has been given the work to provide the IP-based VSS systems with facial recognition and video analytics capabilities. To install the VSS, the national transporter was allotted a total sum of Rs. 250 crores from the Nirbhaya Funds.

The Indian Railways wants top-notch cameras for this top-notch technology and to get clear images and more coverage, 4 types of FHD (Full High Definition) cameras – Bullet cameras for Platforms, Dome cameras for indoor areas, Ultra HD-4k for critical locations, and Pan Tilt Zoom cameras for parking areas – will be taken into use. For monitoring, both live streaming and storage will be used. The live stream from the CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras will be directly displayed on the Multi-screens equipped RPF control room.

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Each of the HD CCTC camera will consume close to 1 TB (TeraByte) of data, whereas, the 4k camera will consume close to 4 TB of data every month. The footage will be only be stored for 30 days for post analysis, and investigation purposes, however, important parts of the footage will be kept for as long as they will be required for.

Under the first phase of this project, VSS are under the installation process at 200 railway stations and in 81 stations that work has already completed. The VSS system has also been commissioned at 6 major railway stations by the South Western Railway zone. The six stations are Hassan and Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam, Bengaluru Cantonment, Ballari, Shivamogga Town, Vasco-Da Gama, and Belagavi. Additionally, the integrated security systems have been installed at 11 stations which includes Mysuru, Bengaluru, and Yesvantpur.

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