At a time when airports and railway and bus stations the world over are becoming vulnerable to terrorist attacks, there is hardly any security measure in place at the four major KSRTC bus stands in Bengaluru though the City has been on the terror radar for long.
More than one lakh passengers travel by KSRTC buses from Kempegowda (Majestic), Shanthinagar, Mysuru Road and Basaveshwara (Peenya) bus stations every day.
A reality check by Deccan Herald has exposed several loopholes in passenger safety at the bus stations. For example, few security guards are deployed, door frame metal detectors at entry points are defunct and there is no system in place to scan luggage.
Even if a door frame metal detector works, people tend to use other entry points as these bus stands have multiple entrances. If passengers enter from the door frames, there is no guard to check them in case the metal detector beeps.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) boasts on its website that it has enforced passenger safety measures, such as deploying a KSRP platoon at the Kempegowda bus stand, surveillance through Internet Protocol cameras, posting more guards and restricting entry points. The ground reality is, however, different.
Severely undestaffedThe KSRTC’s security and vigilance wing is severely understaffed. Guards deployed at bus stations often busy themselves with catching smokers and managing the bus traffic. They are hardly bothered to ensure the safety of passengers, their actual brief.
Buses owned by transport corporations of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also operate from the Majestic bus station. There is a significant number of passengers travelling to destinations in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
A source in the KSRTC told Deccan Herald that the security guards were not properly trained and had a poor idea of passenger security measures. The officials concerned had tried in the past to bring the security system on track but there was limited success.
When contacted, B N S Reddy, Director (Security and Vigilance), KSRTC, said that a review meeting of officials from various districts held recently had suggested measures to improve security at the bus stations.