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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Southern Railway to install CCTV

The Southern Railways has planned to install 'London-type' close circuit television cameras to monitor the platforms and entrance of all the divisional head quarters, SR General Manager Thomas Varghese said here today.

"The cameras would be monitored round the clock by RPF personnel. The new system would also have the facility to retain three days' recordings, which would help to locate criminals in case of any blast incident or otherwise", he said.

Varghese said the ongoing replacement of the distressed bridges and rails at select points had significantly reduced the number of accidents involving the Indian Railways.

"There was not a single accident involving Southern Railways in the last 13 months", he added.

He told reporters that the Railway had totally allotted Rs.17,000 crore for replacing the distressed bridges and the programme was expected to be completed this year.

If it is not completed this year, it would be extended to next year and completed by March, 2008.

The Railway's experiment with Panchayat Unions asking them to appoint and pay salary to a person to guard unmanned level crossing gates, did not work well as some Panchayats failed to pay salaries.

He said there was a proposal to increase the average speed of the super fast trains from 56.5 km to 60 km per hour.

The Southern Railway has planned to install National Train Enquiry System at Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin.

Besides, there would be IVRS system at 10 more stations in the division that would help the passengers know the location of the trains. The unreserved ticketing system would also be commissioned at Kodairoad, Sattur, Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram and Paramakudi shortly.

The coach guidance system using Global Positioning System would be introduced in Pandian and Pearl city express trains by which people would know the name of the station they were passing.

The Railways has also planned to introduce IT-based facilities including cyber cafes under passenger amenities programme in Madurai station. The Union Minister for state for Railways, R Velu had sanctioned Rs.27 crore for increasing the passenger amenities in SR this year.

Madurai division would get three model stations, including Dindigul, Kovilpatti and Virudhunagar under the programme.

The introduction of low-cost airlines did not affect the Railways in any way and the number of passengers travelling by train has increased from Rs 23.4 crore to Rs 26.3 crore.

The total earnings of the SR from April-September 20 this year has increased to Rs 1,400 crore from Rs.1,226 crore, reported the same period last year.

He hoped the doubling of track between Madurai and Dindigul would be completed by March 2008 and this year the railway would be spending Rs.30 crore for the Rs.130-crore project.

The electrification of Villupuram-Tiruchirappalli section would start immediately and the Central Organisation of Railway Electrification (CORE) would take up the work from Villupuram to Virudhachalam immediately. The work would be over by March 2008, he said. The BG conversion of Rameswaram-Manamadurai, Tiruchi- Karaikudi would be completed by 2007. The Tenkasi-Shencottah mixed-track work also would be completed by next year.

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