A/C not installed since its commissioning in November 2011

: The surveillance system, which was commissioned at Tirunelveli Railway Junction 17 months ago to check the movement of unsolicited persons and ensure safety of commuters, remains idle owing to the absence of air-conditioner facility in the control room.

After its efficacy was proved on several occasions in other railway stations, especially in crime prevention, the surveillance system was installed here on. The facility was inaugurated on November 5, 2011 by Chief Signal and Telecommunication Engineer (Planning and Projects), Southern Railway, K.A. Manoharan, in the presence of the then Divisional Railway Manager, A.K. Goel, on a sultry afternoon in a small room without proper ventilation near the main entrance of the railway junction.

Installed at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh, the surveillance system comprises of 25 Bosch cameras installed at as many vantage points, which can clearly capture the images of even vehicles zooming past the rail over-bridge on North Bypass Road. Even the registration numbers of vehicles loading petroleum at the neighbouring Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited depot can be seen distinctly when zoomed.

With this new system, manned by Railway Protection Force, the security people can continuously record for seven days images captured through these cameras and play it back to analyse for further action.

However, the proper functioning of the sophisticated system has been seriously hit as the personnel could not use it to the optimum level owing to the absence of an air-conditioner in the room. The intolerable heat prevailing in the control room without proper ventilation has affected the equipment and the cameras connected to it.

Even when the surveillance system was inaugurated, a couple of reporters asked Mr. Manoharan and Mr. Goel about the absence of air-conditioner in the dingy room which could affect functioning of sensitive equipment, they replied that the room would be air-conditioned within a month. Unfortunately, the 17-month old surveillance system is “dead” now.

Movement of unwanted elements on the platforms, particularly near the pit line and the areas beyond that point, can be seen after dusk.

Divisional Railway Manager A.K. Rastogi said that purchase order for procuring the air-conditioner had been placed.