Tamil Nadu

Railways to deploy AI-enabled thermal screening

Migrant workers from Rajasthan being screened at Salem railway junction. Photo: E.Lakshmi Narayanan  

As part of intensified measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Railways has asked the General Managers of Zonal Railways & Production Units to install thermal screening facility at the entry of all production units and workshops across the network where thousands of employees work.

According sanction to a proposal of RailTel, which also calls for installing Artificial Intelligence-powered thermal screening facility at major railway stations to detect and prevent people walking in with the infection, the Ministry said the solution would be an effective method to identify COVID-19 carriers.

In a note to the Indian Railways, the largest employer in the country, RailTel said unprecedented measures were being taken to protect the people from COVID-19. It was becoming clear that the combat against the virus could become a “long-drawn battle” where screening and social distancing would have to be enforced over an extended period of time till the discovery of an effective vaccine.

Pointing out that any employee entering/leaving the workplace could be a possible carrier of COVID-19, RailTel stressed the need for temperature screening solution to provide 100 per cent coverage of all workers in production units, workshops, loco sheds etc. “The system is intelligent and powered by Artificial Intelligence to neglect any high temperature reading caused by a person carrying hot objects like coffee, tea etc,” the note said.

RailTel said scanning every individual entering railway premises for temperature had become a primary need in view of the pandemic. The system was highly efficient and took just one second of time to capture the temperature of a person walking into the premises. Hygiene would be ensured since it was a zero-contact facility. The door-frame thermal scanner would also serve as a metal detector.

“RailTel has proposed installation of the thermal screening at coach making facilities like the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli, and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and other factories, workshops, loco-sheds etc. since work has already commenced in these facilities. The facility will soon be extended to originating points of trains and major railway stations en route as it is imperative to identify and segregate passengers with fever and other conditions,” a senior railway official said.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 10:56:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/railways-to-deploy-ai-enabled-thermal-screening/article31641772.ece

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