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CCTV network with facial recognition coming to Indian rail system


Eight major companies have placed bids on a contract tendered by Indian Railways’ telecom arm RailTel to supply, install, test, operate, and maintain nearly 90,000 IP cameras equipped with facial recognition technology for the video surveillance systems at more than 6,000 railway stations in the country, The Sentinel reports.

Bidding companies for the project, which has a reported value of more than Rs 10 billion (US$137.7 million) include HFCL, L&T, BECIL, BEL, Mahendra Defense, TCIL, Avrin Pro and KEC International. A RailTel representative told Indian news service IANS that the bidding was closed October 30, and the company plans to complete its due diligence by the end of December.

In addition to 6,124 rail stations, the national operator plans to install CCTV cameras in coaches. RailTel has reportedly earmarked Rs 30 billion in its 2018-19 budget for the installation of CCTV systems in 11,000 trains and 8,000 stations in total.

The Indian government has also been advancing plans to deploy biometric kiosks at railway stations, city centers, and other crowded places to facilitate paperless travel under the Digi Yatra system, and law enforcement agencies in the country have been applying facial recognition to social media monitoring, ostensibly to track criminals and terrorists online.

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