Security at railway stations to go high-tech

CCTV cameras, luggage scanners, metal, bomb detectors and disposal equipment coming

The ‘Integrated Security Plan’ for Bangalore City, Yeshwanthpur and Mysore Railway stations under SWR was okayed sometime last year and has now received Rs 12.38 crore sanction from the Ministry for implementation.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, a senior officer of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said: “We’re in the final stage of implementation of the project in the Bangalore City Railway Station and have sent in proposals to our headquarters in Hubli.”

The upgradation project will include installation of close circuit television cameras (CCTV cameras), closure of unauthorised entry and exit points, luggage scanning machinery, beefing up of RPF staff etc.

The officer added that the railways is in the process of procuring security equipment and other materials for the project and that the upgradation at the Bangalore City Railway Station would be completed in three to four months.“Work at the other two stations, Yeshwanthpur and Mysore will be taken up respectively after that,” he said.

The Bangalore City Station already has about 40 CCTV cameras and the division has begun work on installing more of them, and a big compound wall will be built to guard the station. The cameras will cover the entire station premises and the yard. Currently, there are three RPF men working on three shifts, monitoring the visual captured by the cameras and their number will also go with more cameras at the station. The Yeshwanthpur station has 10 such camera already, while the Mysore station has five.

Luggage scanners, hand-held metal detectors, bomb detectors, bomb disposal equipment and vehicle scanners will be purchased in the coming months and the dog squad of the RPF will also be strengthened.

While the Science & Telecom Division of the Railways will help in installing the cameras and take up other technology relation work, the Civil Engineering Department will be roped in for the construction of the compound, the official said.

Railway employee attacked, robbed

Tuesday morning turned dangerous for 45-year old  railway (South Western Railway Division) employee M G Sudha, who was attacked and robbed by unidentified people at around 4 am near the Yeshwanthpur Railway Quarters.

Sudha, who works as a commercial clerk issuing unreserved tickets at the City Railway Station was on her way to work when she was attacked by the men. She sustained serious rib and lung injuries and is undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital.

Sudha told Deccan Herald that the incident happened in the vicinity of her quarters, adding: “It could have been prevented if there was a security guard at the quarters.”
Although it is mandatory for a railway quarters to have a security guard the quarters at Yeshwanthpur has not had one for a while, she added.

Many employees at the station complained of the compulsory shift that Sudha was to report to, stating that it is really unsafe for people to travel at those hours of the day and not everybody working on the shift are provided accommodation in the nearest quarters.

There are three shifts for persons issuing unreserved tickets at the station – 4.30 am to 11 am, 11 am to 5.30 pm and 5.30 pm to 12 am – of which the early morning shift (the compulsory one) is the riskiest.

Incidentally, of the 50-odd staffers issuing unreserved tickets, almost half are women and have been facing problems for a while now.

They complain about the lack of transport as most of them commute from faraway places.
“Don’t the IT/BPO employees work such shifts,” was the reaction of their senior officers they they complained to them about the problems of having to travel at such early hours, a staffer said.

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