There may be little possibility of normal train services — either long-distance or suburban — resuming before July, but Eastern Railway (ER) has started taking measures to cope with the heavy rush of passengers that is likely to turn up after restrictions are lifted. For a start, automated thermal scanners — to check body temperature — have been installed at Howrah and Asansol stations. Their numbers will increase gradually and all major stations under ER will get this facility.
“This will reduce both time consumed in checking all passengers entering the stations and the manpower involved in handling such equipment. At Howrah station, human body temperature screening system through thermographic bullet cameras have already started at the entrances of the old cabway and platforms 9/10. These cameras can detect temperatures from a distance of 3 metres and they have a range of 86 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. These cameras will come in very handy when the number of people entering the station increases,” said Nikhil Kumar Chakraborty, CPRO, ER.
The cameras work on the concept of creation of thermal images through infrared radiation. The system is equipped with audio-visual alarm system and network video recorder with a 1 TB hard drive. The system also has a face recognition software and issues an alert if a passenger is not wearing a mask. At a time, 15 passengers can be scanned through this system. A red light flashes whenever the system raises an alarm, allowing authorities to intervene.
“As of now, nobody is being allowed into stations without thermal scanning. We think that such restrictions will continue even after normal services resume. As passenger count grows, it will no longer be feasible to use hand-held scanners. However, these scanners will work fine when installed at all entry points,” another senior ER official said.
Source: Times of India