In a first, the East Coast Railway headquartered at Bhubaneswar has deployed drones to guard its assets lying idle in yards due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, officials said.
“During lockdown, assets like coaches, PRS counters, etc. are out of sight being not in use, locked. This is in addition to the assets on use – yards signalling infrastructure, stations, relay rooms, goods sheds, wagon stock. RPF staff has to ensure safety of each of these assets, whether in use or not,” said Principal chief security commissioner, ECoR, Raja Ram.
“As a large part of ECOR territory is under LWE (left wing extremism) influence areas, keeping an eye 24×7 on all fixed and moving assets in addition to activity centres is a challenge during lockdown. ECoR has, in a first on IR, deployed drones to keep a 24×7 vigil on the entire ECOR territory,” he added.
The concept of security patrolling through drones has been introduced at Waltair and Kurdha Divisions of ECoR and it will be soon operational at Bhubaneswar and Puri as per requirement, he said.
Drone cameras will be operating with the help of the permission of state/airport, naval and airport authorities so that the movements are fully monitored.
“The drones will capture the images of the track from the maximum suitable heights, communication links of 2 km approximately initially so that the images and videos reach up to the operator are clear to take follow-up action,” Ram said.
“Besides the real-time monitoring, we will store the data to create a video library for future references,” he added.
It will also use motor or push trolley operated by RPF personnel to move inside sections and cover areas also if required and immediately send message to the control room for immediate action and information can be passed to local police, he said further.
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