Citizens' Issues
Central Railway's shoddy CCTV camera work at Dadar
CCTV cameras installed for surveillance at Dadar railway station, especially on the Central line, seem positioned to avoid capturing people or suspicious movements. This renders them completely useless and raises questions about whether there is any supervision and whether cameras are deliberately mis-positioned
 
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are meant to enhance public safety and play a major role in identifying suspects or strange behaviour. However, our attempt to track the movements of our recently deceased colleague, Abhishek Rajak turned into a learning experience. After spending several hours poring over the footage at Dadar station, we found that most of the cameras on the Western line only captured the backs of people, while the cameras on the Central line, were turned away from the most crowded platform 4 and the GRP office as well. 
 
Dadar is one of the most crowded stations on Mumbai's rail network and yet, CCTV recording and camera positions, especially on the Central Railway (CR) line needs a close scrutiny by the authorities.
 
Our colleague, Abhishek Rajak was found dead on the rail tracks on 17th July. The reason for our effort to trace his movements was that on the 17th, two people were told that Abhishek had been detained and let off. The police later recanted and claimed there was no detention at all. An hour after the phone calls, Abhishek's body was apparently discovered between Diva and Mumbra stations, about 40-45 minutes distance from Dadar. His phone, which was off for several hours was mysteriously switched on and working. His last call known to us, was from the station to office, when he called to inform of some corrections in articles he had uploaded. 
 
While scrutinising the tapes, we found him on two cameras on the Western Railway side, one walking on the staircase on the middle foot over bridge (FOB) and second walking towards Central Rail line. The second camera on which we spotted him keeps rotating (for reasons only God may know), but luckily that day (on 17th July) there was some issue and it had became stationary. We saw his back and recognised him only by his clothes and backpack. We tracked him in the video footage up to the middle bridge leading to the Central Railway line after which there is nothing. We could not spot Abhishek in any of the cameras installed by CR Railway Protection Force (RPF) in their area of the middle FOB. Moreover, the cameras are positioned in such a way that it covers the staircases only halfway and that too you can see only the backs of commuters.
Platform no. 4 of CR at Dadar is one of the most crowded platforms on the network, from where commuters board fast locals going towards Thane and Kalyan. However, during our inspection, we found that not a single camera was aimed at this platform. The two-three cameras installed on this joint platform (platform3 and 4) were pointed towards platform no3, where commuters travelling on slow locals going South alight. 
 
Another point is most of the CCTV cameras at Dadar station on both Central and Western line do not capture faces of commuters because of the high angle of the cameras. So what you get in the CCTV footage is either side profiles or backs of commuters moving around the station. 
 
(Images for representation only                       Source: www.cr.indianrailways.gov.in)
 
In addition, there is no proper lighting on all platforms. This means, all CCTV videos captured during night is dark and is of little use. And this is applicable to both Central and Western lines.
 
The CCTV cameras and recording are under the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and they provide footage on request, when sent in writing to the Government Railway Police (GRP) for investigations.
 
In addition, the quality of video, especially in area under the CR's jusrisdiction is highly questionable. The videos at most crowded locations are not even clear and are of poor quality. In comparison, there was one camera installed on platform no. 6 (CR) near the CCTV control room, which not only shows clear videos but also the 'greenery' between platform 5 and 6.
 
Even the difference in attitudes of RPF personnel in the CR and the WR was poles apart. The RPF personnel from the WR side were very cooperative, either in identifying the right location and camera or showing the stored footage several times over. On the other hand, the RPF on the CR side were not only rude and adamant but also reluctant to show the footage. The major hindrance with RPF on CR side was that they need an operator to operate the CCTV system, and the operator from the company that installed the system comes only when one gets a permission in writing from RPF headquarters at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Only after speaking with two seniors and with help from one person from the Force, we were able to see the footage of that particular time. But as discussed above, it turned out to be a complete waste of time, due to wrong camera positions and poor lighting.
 
We could not take any pictures at Dadar station as it requires special permission from the authorities. Especially, when there were both GRP and RPF personnels along with us all the time, it was not appropriate to take photos.
 
To recapitulate, Abhishek reached Dadar station at around 7.45pm on 17th July using the entrance near the Suvidha shop. There he climbed the centre FOB (towards CST) to board the 7.47pm Kalyan fast (15 coach) from platform no. 4 on Central Railway. However, he never reached home and later his body was found on the tracks between Mumbra and Diva stations. Abhishek was a stickler and always boarded the fast local while commuting between Dombivali (his home) and Dadar (his office).

User

COMMENTS

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

Despite many attempts by Central Railways to wriggle out of providing a cogent response, we continue to follow-up here, and on one level are following up as per procedure with the Chairman, Railway Board as well as PMO on this case.

After one RTI Application was summarily dismissed, I went into First Appeal as well as escalated the issue, and have now received the full correspondence on the subject. In addition there has been some anonymous input also which shall be sent to the relevant authorities, since I am now trying to get the matter escalated beyond the present Central Railways/RPF.

This is the next series of questions I have asked.

+++

Vide response to PG filed online MORLY/E/2014/14616 and response No.G/190/PG/12/2014/RB-480 signed (S.M. Kelkar), Assistant Secretary (PG), General Managers Office, Central Railway, Mumbai CST 400 001 regarding Sonal Enterprises and CCTV at Dadar Central, please provide me with full information on-

1) Full details and addresses of Sonal Enterprises said to be maintaining CCTV at Dadar Central Railway Station on 17th April 2014, including names and addresses of proprietors or owners or Directors.

2) Full information on basis by which Sonal Enterprises were selected for this work at Dadar Central.

3) Full information on other locations under Central Railway where they have been selected in the past or now for any work from Indian Railways.

4) What are terms and condition of Sonal Enterprises contract with Central Railways or Indian Railways.

5) Under what tender or contract were Sonal Enterprises selected.

6) How many people do Sonal Enterprises employ.

7) What is EPFO registration number of Sonal Enterpris and amount paid in as per returns for FY 2013-2014.

8) What is ESI Registration number of Sonal Enteprise and amount paid in as per returns for FY 2013-2014.

9) What is Maharashtra State Professional Tax registration details of Sonal Enterprise and amount paid in as per returns for FY 2013-2014.

10) What is Service Tax registration and details of Sonal Enterprise and amount paid in as per returns for FY 2013-2014.

11) Where is the control room for the CCTVs set up by Sonal Enterprises for Dadar Railway Station.

Thank you.

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

To: Chairman, Railway Board,
New Delhi

Greetings and Jai Hind.

1) Please find enclosed response received from Office of General Manager, Central Railway, Mumbai.

2) This response is in direct contrast to actual events of 17th and 18th July 2014 as per media reports enclosed herein.

http://www.moneylife.in/article/abhishek...

http://www.moneylife.in/article/central-...

3) A "public grievance", as defined by our Prime Minister, is not a "representation". It is a grievance AGAINST a particular government agency. How that same agency within Government can respond to that very grievance, especially when it pertains to a crime resulting in death, is not understood.

By way of information, I am adding this response as well as my response to another set of Public Grievances currently filed also with other Government agencies. It is obvious that the Office of General Manager of Central Railways has not applied full effort, because nobody has contacted any of the people who actually were informed that Abhishek Rajak had been reportedly detained by Central Railway at Dadar prior to his death.

Sincerely,

Veeresh Malik

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago


aspg@cr.railnet.gov.in
17:06 (9 minutes ago)

to me
No.G.190/PG/7/2014/RB-176

Dear Sir,

Your representation has been examined in detail by the concerned
department and it is to state that no person by name mentioned was
detained at PRF/Thane Dadar on 17.07.2014, also the CCTV on the particular
date were working and correctly positioned.

Further, enquires revealed that Dy.SS/Diva informed Government Railway
Police, Thane about an unknown male body lying near Diva station. Later
the diseased was identified and information was given to his parents about
accident. Shri Rajkumar Rajak father of the deceased Late Shri Abhishek
Rajak, has not mentioned any incident about detention of his son at Dadar.

This is for your information please.

Yours Sincerely,


(P.N. Ramachandran)
Assistant Secretary (PG)
General Manager’s Office
Central Railway
Mumbai CST – 400 001
Ph: 022 - 22754030, 22697115


+++

This is one official response I have received. Am pursuing through other avenues also.

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

If anybody gets a phone call from any agency claiming to be investigating this death then please -

1) Convince yourself about the said agency by asking for a landline number and name as well as number of the senior person in that office.

2) Making a call back to that number to establish the genuineness of the person.

3) Responding that all information is as per the article already given and nothing more to add.

I received a call from 9004449817 and am not able to get more information on who and why was calling me.

Thanks / Veeresh

Aditya G

3 years ago

Hi,

I've filed a PG as well.

-
Aditya

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

It will be helpful if others, especially non-Mumbai people who are not affected by possible threats and interferences, will also file paralel pincer PGs online like I have done in this case. Same words can be copy-pasted. Thank you.

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

4th PG filed in this context, idea is to see that "file is opened" and progress, though slow, will be steady and across different departments. Eventually, after about 10 PGs are filed across different departments, a composite Grievance shall be filed at PMO after a gap of a month or so.

GOVMH/E/2014/01142

Name Of Complainant : Veeresh Malik
Date of Receipt : 22 Jul 2014
Received by : Government of Maharashtra
Officer name : Shri. P.S. Meena
Officer Designation : Addl Chief Secretary
Contact Address : General Admn. Deptt.,
R.No. 102, Annex, Mantralaya,
Mumbai400032
Contact Number : 022-22843711
Grievance Description : Please see enclosed article carried in MONEYLIFE http://www.moneylife.in/article/central-... My grievance is that security of local train passengers and commuters appears to be at risk and I request Government of Maharashtra to kindly resolve my grievance and resolve this by investigating fully this tragic episode of death of my young work colleague as well as bring systematic changes and improvement in security at and around local train stations in Mumbai area. I shall be grateful for response in English.
Current Status : RECEIVED THE GRIEVANCE

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

3rd PG filed in this context. It is pertinent to point out that in another case at Jodhpur Railway Station a friend's driver was badly assaulted and mistreated and I had filed 11 separate PGs on the subject. At the end, in a period of 90 days, there was multiple action and resolution.

Here also, the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind.

Registration Number : CAGAO/E/2014/00182
Name Of Complainant : Veeresh Malik
Date of Receipt : 22 Jul 2014
Received by : O/o the Comptroller & Auditor General of India
Officer name : Shri Ranjit Singh
Officer Designation : Assistant C&AG N
Contact Address : 9, Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Marg,
New Delhi
110124
Contact Number : 23232902
Grievance Description : Vast amounts of money are spent by a wide assortment of government public authorities from taxpayer funds in the name of "security". There has always been a suspicion that these funds are not utilised properly. One example is enclosed below, in context with the mysterious demise of my young work colleague, while travelling by local train in Mumbai and detained at Dadar (Central) Railway Station. http://www.moneylife.in/article/central-... My grievance is that there appears to be no proper audit of such expenses and more importantly of operational results expected from such expenses and so as a public grievance in specific case and larger interest I request CAG to resolve my grievance and do a proper full audit of monetary and operational aspects of security cameras provisioned by Central Railway in local train network of Mumbai. Thank you.
Current Status : RECEIVED THE GRIEVANCE


brgds/Veeresh

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

Paralel PG filed with Department of Home vide

Registration Number : MINHA/E/2014/01517
Name Of Complainant : Veeresh Malik
Date of Receipt : 22 Jul 2014
Received by : Department of Home
Officer name : Shri. Kumar Alok
Officer Designation : Joint Secretary Coord. &am
Contact Address : Room No. 188,
North Block,
New Delhi110001
Contact Number : 23092392
e-mail : jscpg-mha@nic.in
Grievance Description : Please see appended article published in MONEYLIFE in context with death undermysterious circumstances between Dadar (Central) and Diva/Dombivili of my work colleague Abhishek Rajak. http://www.moneylife.in/article/central-... It is amply apparently clear that CCTV and security at Dadar (Central) is apparently not performing as it should and so my grievance to Department of Home is twofold - 1) A full and proper investigation on the death of my late colleague young Shri Abhsishek Rajak. 2) A grievance that the security system at Dadar Central and other railway stations in Mumbai area should be improved for the larger benefit of all citizens. Thank you.
Current Status : RECEIVED THE GRIEVANCE

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

PG filed online with Indian Railways (Railway Board) MORLY/E/2014/07500

"Name Of Complainant : Veeresh Malik
Date of Receipt : 21 Jul 2014
Received by : Ministry of Railways, ( Railway Board)
Officer name : Shri Ashok Choudhary
Officer Designation : Executive Director(PG)
Contact Address : Room No. 467, Rail Bhavan,
Railway board
New Delhi110001
Contact Number : 23386203
e-mail : edpg@rb.railnet.gov.in
Grievance Description : Please see enclosed article which is in context with death of my colleague on Central Railway local train Mumbai. http://www.moneylife.in/article/central-... It is my grievance that despite all expenses incurred on security measures the recording devices installed at Dadar do not provide any cogent information. I shall be subsequently also pursuing this matter with PMO and CAG and Department of Home, but interim my grievance is that Ministry of Railways needs to rectify this sad situation with recording devices at Dadar Central.
Current Status : RECEIVED THE GRIEVANCE"

Request others also file PGs on this issue, many thanks.

Abhijit Gosavi

3 years ago

Very, very sorry for the loss of this young life. I was born in Dombivli; never really lived there, but have traveled on that local many times as an adult. Would not at all be surprised if the police were mis-aligning the cameras intentionally to prevent the cameras from recording their misdeeds.

I remember an incident from the 90s when college mates of mine were detained on VT (has a new name now, I think) in the evening for no real reason. They were spending the whole night at VT's waiting room to catch a train early next morning and had just innocently wandered out of the waiting room. The police let them go after extorting a few rupees, claiming they had no right to be walking around on the station.

In general, railway stations are terribly managed, and corruption is at the root of all the mismanagement. God alone knows when ordinary Indian citizens will be able to enjoy public transportation for which they pay through fares as well as taxes.

Divya Malcolm

3 years ago

Why is it that even when I reply from my e mail, Divya's name crops up?

Bapoo M Malcolm

Divya Malcolm

3 years ago

Moneylife and Samir have been upfront in exposing the many misdeeds of the Railway Protection (sic) Force, especially on the Central Railway.

Was a staff member especially targeted?

Bapoo M. Malcolm

Divya Malcolm

3 years ago

The comment was posted by me, Bapoo and not Divya. I was on her mail as I check it for her. Sorry.

Divya Malcolm

3 years ago

The best thing to do now is to start with finding out how many innocents have been arrested by the RPF on Dadar platforms. Then to check if the cops were into a daily extortion racket. Appoint a detective agency. It may cost a few bucks but it will be fast and good. We can and will contribute our mite. We must.

Let us make sure that Abhishek did not die in vain.

CBI probing five cases of defence procurement deal

Over the past three years there are nine cases relating to alleged irregularities in defence purchases which the CVC has referred for inquiry.

 

Nine cases of alleged irregularities in defence procurement have been referred to the government by Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for inquiry and five cases have been taken up by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation in the last three years, Lok Sabha was informed.

 

In a written reply, defence minister Arun Jaitley said, "During the last three years and in the current year, there are nine cases relating to alleged irregularities in defence purchases which the CVC has referred for inquiry".

 

He said whenever complaints alleging violations of procurement procedures or irregularities are received by the Defence Ministry, they are "examined and after due scrutiny, appropriate action is taken. Wherever necessary, the case is referred to appropriate agency for further investigation".

 

In the last five years, there have been several cases of alleged corruption in defence procurement including the AgustaWestland chopper procurement scam.

 

To another query, the Minister said 42.7% of the modernisation funds were spent by the three Services on buying equipment from foreign vendors.

 

On the procurement made from indigenous sources, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, "69% of the total revenue and capital requirement of armed forces were met through indigenous procurement".

 

On converting the decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant into a museum, Jaitley said several representations have been received including those from late Gopinath Munde, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Ministry of Culture for converting the old warship into a museum.

 

 

User

Major fire at Lotus Business Park building in Mumbai

Strong winds at the top further aggravated the intensity of the flames at Lotus Business Centre at Andheri in Mumbai

 

Fire brigade, Navy and Coast Guard personnel are fighting a grim battle to rescue firemen trapped on the terrace of a 22-storey commercial building blazing up in a western Mumbai suburb where two helicopters have been pressed into service to evacuate them.

 

A Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) official said that around 15-20 fire fighters were stuck on the terrace of Lotus Business Park on Andheri Link road.

 

Dramatic video footages showed Navy and and Coast Guard helicopters lowering ropes on the rooftop to help the stranded firemen clamber up to safety from their perilous perch.

 

An unspecified number of fire fighters have so far been rescued after showers reduced the intensity of the blaze that forced them to cling precariously to railings and scaffoldings of the glass-facade tower, raising fears about their safety.

 

The choppers were rushed to the rescue of stranded firemen after gusty winds fanned the fire making their evacuation impossible by any other means.

 

According to fire brigade officials, 22 fire engines, 10 water tankers and 6 jetties have been deployed to quell the blaze.

 

"We have also requested the Thane Municipal Corporation and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and others to provide additional fire engines to help us bring the fire under control," the officer said.

 

"We had initially categorised the fire at Grade 2 and sent 12 fire engines to the spot. The strong winds at the top further aggravated the intensity of the flames and we have now further upgraded the fire to the top notch," the official added.

 

According to officials, the blaze started on the 21st floor of the building around 11:30am and soon spread to the 20th floor.

 

There were no reports of any civilian casualties yet as people working in the offices were quickly evacuated by the fire brigade.

 

"We got a request from the fire brigade to provide aerial help to the firemen who have been stuck on the 22 storey commercial building. The Indian Navy has deployed a Seeking Charlie helicopter and the Coastguard a Chetak to rescue them," a Navy spokesperson has said.

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COMMENTS

dev

3 years ago

Fire at lotus this is so bad..
some one shots these video on the spot..
https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTO6F51J6Ww
https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjbXixBSuDo
https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19rl9LFGYLw

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