Kolkata: The state-run Calcutta State Transport Corporation has installed CCTVs in 632 buses introduced under the JNNURM scheme to make travel safer for passengers, especially women.
Under the extended JNNURM Project-I, Urban Bus Specification (UBS) II-complied equipment, including three CCTVs, were installed in each bus, CSTC managing director, Bhishmadeb Dasgupta told PTI.
“Two CCTVs are installed inside the bus, one in the front, another at the middle, while the third one is placed outside at the rear of the vehicle,” Dasgupta said. The rear camera would record movement of vehicles on the road in the vicinity, he said.
“CCTV surveillance will make women passengers feel safe to travel in buses even at late hours. The knowledge that the bus is being under CCTV watch will give them confidence to travel,” he explained.
Each bus has a storage capacity of 100GB and initially, the footage, captured by the CCTVs would be stored for three days after which it would be overwritten automatically.
“After three days the footage will be overwritten automatically. So people with complaint of any theft or pickpocketing, bad behaviour by the ticket-conductor or the bus driver or any other problem, have to register that within three days,” he said, adding that the CCTV footage would also help them investigate accidents.
On receiving complaints, CCTV footages from the concerned bus would be taken into a pendrive and brought to the CSTC headquarters to probe the matter, he said. Kolkata Police officers have already done an inspection of the buses and were quite satisfied with the camera surveillance.
“Definitely this is a good move and it will hopefully cut down on the number of crimes like molestation, pick-pocketing and snatching,” a top officer of the Kolkata Police said.
“In fact, daily checking of footage of two buses at a CSTC depot has been made mandatory irrespective of whether any incident has taken place, and in case any abnormality is found the recordings will be stored,” Dasgupta explained. The CSTC is also working on the IT-based communication and surveillance system to get live feed from a running bus, Dasgupta said.
“We are also planning to have live footage from a running bus via streaming video using the GRPS. The streaming will be fed directly to Control Room monitors in the headquarters before they are archived. This will be under the Intelligence Transport System project and we are working on it. Hopefully it will be ready in another six months,” Dasgupta said.
This would help operate buses on real-time demand. Not only that, but the system would also help operators to systematically increase or decrease the fleet strength depending on the live footage, he explained. “In fact, once fully operative, pilferage can be totally stopped. Also if any irregularity is detected, the system will send an alert automatically,” Dasgupta said. CSTC depots too were upgraded to be managed by a computerised system to monitor every aspect from refuelling to changing of spares.