CCTVs set up to prevent suicides at Metro Railway

CCTVs set up to prevent suicides at Metro Railway

CCTVs set up to prevent suicides at Metro Railway

Kolkata metro

A host of screens at the railway's security control room monitor platforms on the Metro Railway while there are 20 hotlines to stations where quick response teams have been stationed to respond to anyone attempting to take the fatal plunge.

"Each CCTV on the platforms monitor people’s movement. Cameras can even zoom in on the passengers if they are seen to behave abnormally. If a passenger is spotted loitering about for 15 to 20 minutes without boarding trains, RPF personnel are alerted," a senior Metro official told PTI.

The authorities have video recordings of past suicides on the tracks which have been viewed for tell-tale signs before a suicide.
"We cannot read people's minds, but erratic behaviour such as restlessness before the arrival of a train and hanging around on the stairs and platforms can tip us off about a would be suicide," he said.

There were, however, logistical problems for the Quick Response Teams to respond in an emergency. We are trying to cut the quick response time to two to three minutes as every second can be vital in saving a precious life. But there are logistical problems involved in alerting a station after suspicious movement is spotted in the control room," the official said.

The authorities were also carrying out an awareness drive forbidding passengers from crossing a white line on the edge of the platform before a train arrives. Crossing the line could result in a fine of Rs 250.

"We will not enforce the fine during the awareness drive which will continue for some time. Matters will be more strict early next year," the official said.

The Metro railway has also roped in an NGO to provide free counselling and a helpline, 800-345-1253, to assist people who are depressed."Anyone can call up the helpline between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on weekdays if they suffer from depression or ring up 9830388888 around the clock," he said.

Samir Das, a counsellor with Global Health Foundation, an NGO actively campaigning in Metro stations, said a booklet 'Depression: Facts all should know' has been distributed at the Rabindra Sarobar station while campaigns are being carried on at others.

"We have been receiving several phone calls each day, mostly from people in the age group of 20-45 who are facing a crisis for several reasons," Das said.
The crises stemmed from various reasons including rejection from family and friends and poverty, he said.

Music therapy is also being resorted to by the authorites on platforms with soothing music and songs being played at regular intervals.
Of the 14 suicide attempts on the Metro this year, nine died. Last year there were 10 attempts of which five ended fatally.