Porous security at M'lore central railway station

Porous security at M'lore central railway station

Being a ‘A’ class station, one might well expect that Mangalore Central Railway station would be no less class of its kind, at least in terms of security. But the reality is shockingly different, with an option for anyone to easily enter or exit the railway station even without a platform ticket that too through half a dozen of illegal entries.

The third platform more often resembles a fish market when the fish is being loaded in trains with filthy water getting stagnant on the platform. There is hardly any change in the situation after the recent blast in Chennai Railway station. It is one year since the much touted advanced surveillance checking, the Integrated Security System (ISS) was installing at the station.

Currently, though the system is installed, nobody knows when it will commence operation. The railway authorities have put off several dates for the inauguration of the same in the past. Now, everybody pretends helplessness shrugging off that all has to be decided by the Southern Railway headquarters, Chennai.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager (Palakad) Mohan Menon said that the division has no role in security matters, but the Chief Security Commissioner in Chennai. “The ISS has been installed at Mangalore Central. But it will become operational only after the inspection of the Commissioner and his subsequent okaying of the system,” he told Deccan Herald. When asked why the inspection is delayed even after installing the system, Menon said he had no idea.

Meanwhile, railway sources indicated that the problem with the installation was reason for the delay. The position of CC TV cameras and its configuration put up across three platforms was not in adherence to the railway security rules so it had been re-installed which caused the delay. Though authorities say that along with the installation of ISS, all the illegal entries to the station will be sealed and the entire premises would be protected by a compound wall, nothing has happened till date at the station. However, Mangalore Central Station Railway Protection Force Circle Inspector Venu said that the process pertaining to this is going on.

ISS

The Integrated Security System (ISS) at first phase encompasses 38 CC TV cameras, two X-ray baggage scanners at two entries, one parcel scanner at parcel office, door frame metal detectors at entries and two under-vehicle scanners (to scan the digital image of the number plate, driver and the under parts of each vehicle coming to the station). The project Manager of NALCO, which was entrusted with the responsibility of installing the surveillance system, K Vinod, said that the entire components were fixed at the Central station. The second phase of the system consists of installing electronic vapour detector, explosive detector etc. Under Palakad division, Mangalore Central and Kozhikode stations were selected for installing ISS and in Kozhikode it has been operational since more than a year.

Home guards to man?

It is learnt that after the commencement of ISS, trained home guards will man the entire system at the station which will be supervised by the access control room in Palakad and Chennai. The RPF personnel said that at least 10 additional staff are required to handle ISS alone. Creation of six more constable posts at Mangalore Central RPF station is on the anvil. Sources said that Southern Railway has recently conducted a special recruitment drive for RPF in view of enhancing the security at the Railway station premises.

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