Indian Railways introduces drone-based surveillance system for security

The Railways has procured Ninja unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring its assets and ensuring safety for passengers. The Mumbai Division of Central Railway has recently procured two Ninja UAVs for better security and surveillance in railway areas like station premises, railway track sections, yards, and workshops.

Drone surveillance technology has emerged as an important and cost-effective tool for security surveillance over large areas with limited manpower. A team of four staff of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Mumbai has been trained for drone flying, surveillance and maintenance. These drones are capable of real-time tracking, video streaming and may be operated on automatic fail-safe mode.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has planned extensive use of drones for the purpose of railway security, read an official statement. Nine drones have been procured by RPF so far at a cost of Rs 31.87 Lakh at South Eastern Railway, Central Railway, Modern Coach Factory, RaeBareli and South Western Railway, it said.

It is further proposed to procure seventeen more drones in future at a cost of Rs 97.52 Lakh. Nineteen RPF personnel have so far been trained in operation and maintenance of drones out of which four have received licenses for flying drones. Six more RPF personnel are being trained, the ministry said.

The purpose of the drone deployment is to provide a force multiplier and aid the deployed security personnel, it said. While it can help in inspection of Railway assets and safety of yards, workshops, car sheds, it can also be used to launch surveillance on criminal and anti-social activities like gambling, throwing of garbage, hawking in railway premises, it added.

“It may be deployed for data collection, analysis of such data collected may prove to be extremely useful in vulnerable sections for safe operations of trains. The drone may be pressed into service at disaster sites for helping in rescue, recovery and restoration and coordinating the efforts of various agencies,” the ministry said.