Drone surveillance at Pune railway station ready to roll

Suspicious movement and illegal crossing of the railway tracks at the Pune railway station will now be monitored by two drones which are to be deployed by the Pune railway division. Pune has received the two drones, with cameras, from the Central Railway (CR), which will now be used for vigilance in and around the Pune railway station premises.

According to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Pune division, these drones were received a few days back, and 10 RPF policemen were trained to operate the drones.

Once all necessary permission to use the drones has been taken by the railways, vigilance will start at the Pune railway station. Various parts of the station will be covered by the drones: passenger circulation, railway tracks, parcel office area, Pune railway yard and the nearby workshop. There will be a separate room for drone operations at the RPF police station at the Pune railway station.

“We have got two drones from the headquarters and some of our policemen were trained on how to operate it. This will certainly benefit our overall vigilance at the station premises,” said Ashwini Kumar, senior police inspector, RPF and in-charge of Pune railway station RPF police station. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 200 train operations were carried out from the Pune railway station, with two lakh passengers travelling daily.

After the unlock process started and train operations resumed from May 2020, slowly the number of train operations started increasing from the Pune railway station. Currently, 100 train operations are done from the station with 40,000 passengers traveling daily. “To keep a watch on suspicious persons, security of the railway’s property, standing trains at the platforms in the night and even during the emergency and festival seasons this drone vigilance will be very useful for us. These drones can fly up to 2km from the network and battery backup is 25 minutes. It also has real-time tracking which is beneficial for the RPF policemen,” said Manoj Jhawar, Pune railway division spokesperson.