The Indian Railways has scrapped a recent tender for thermal cameras after facing protests from vendors. The protesting vendors have said that the tender favours a Chinese firm even as the government has made it mandatory for platforms to state the 'country of origin' of items on offer.
RailTel, a Railway PSU had floated the tender for AI-based surveillance cameras that could measure body temperatures of individuals as well as detect if the person is wearing a mask. The tender was scrapped after two weeks following feedback that the specifications favour Chinese company Hikvision that is already one of the world's largest video surveillance companies to dominate India's CCTV market. They said the technology -- DeepInMind -- which is part of the specification for the cameras and mentioned in the tender document, is a proprietary feature of Hikvision.
Railways' new tender has removed this technology as a requirement but has retained other significant specifications including the ability of the cameras to detect temperatures accurately. Moreover, vendors have also been asked to name the country of origin of all equipment they supply. In case, the bidders fail to mention the country of origin, RailTel could reject the offer.
Contact-free mask detection, alarms on people without masks, identity verification and stranger alarm or confirming identity even with masks are some of the listed features the PSU has specified for the cameras.
Following the India-China standoff, Indian Railways cancelled a Rs 471-crore signalling and telecommunication work for a stretch of 417-km on the Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) section by a Chinese company.