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Nirbhaya Fund to be used to enhance safety and security of Railways

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has permitted Indian Railways to utilize Nirbhaya Fund to beef up safety and security in trains.

It is learnt that the Railway Protection Force can now use the finances under the Nirbhaya Fund to deploy technology and latest security and surveillance equipment for improving safety experience on-board Indian Railways.

Following the tragedy of December 2012, the Union Government formed a dedicated fund – Nirbhaya Fund – to be utilized for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of women. It is a non-lapsable corpus fund, being administered by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is the nodal Ministry to appraise/recommend proposals and schemes to be funded under Nirbhaya Fund.

MWCD further has the responsibility to review and monitor the progress of sanctioned schemes in conjunction with the line Ministries/Departments.

“The funds would be utilized towards enhancing safety and security on trains with a special focus on female travellers. We are constantly looking for ways to make train travel a safe experience for women,” an official overlooking this assignment at railways told.

However, he did not disclose the quantum of funds allocated for the initiative.

Besides this initiative, the Railway Protection Force is working on a number of initiatives to enhance security at railway stations.

Under this initiative, it plans to install facial recognition systems at 200 railway stations and a pilot for the same has already been launched at Bengaluru using high quality CCTV cameras and software technology.

The railway protection force intends to utilize the Nirbhaya Fund towards reducing the menace of child trafficking.

“With the use of sophisticated technology we would like to address the issue of tackling child trafficking,” the official added.

Railway Protection Force has the responsibility to protect railway passengers, passenger area and railway property. The organization is mandated to co-operate with the other departments of railways in improving the efficiency of Indian Railways.

It should act as a bridge between the government, railway police, local police and railway administration. It should adopt modern technology and best human rights practises for protection of female and elderly passengers.