It will be another year before 70 suburban stations on Central Railway (CR) get foolproof security cover.
After the 26/11 attack, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee sanctioned a security package of Rs 53 crore in the Railway budget to upgrade security on the Central and Western Railways.
Under the Integrated Security Plan announced during the Budget, 28 Western Railway suburban stations will be covered, while only six CR stations will get a makeover.
As per the plan, every nook and corner of stations will be under closed circuit television camera surveillance.
On the Central line, out of 48 stations between CST and Kasara-Karjat and 28 on its Harbour line, 70 stations will be without security.
“A total of Rs 24.72 crore is allotted to upgrade security at 17 CR stations,” said CR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Shriniwas Mudgerikar.
Of Rs 23 crore for WR, Rs 2 crore will be spent to upgrade security at 28 suburban stations.
“All of Mumbai division’s suburban stations have been covered under the plan this year,” said Lalit Kumar, WR’s chief security commissioner.
“Automatic monitoring vehicle scanners will be stationed at parking spaces, to keep a record of all vehicles. Besides, cameras moving at a 360-degree angle will be installed at railway yards,” BS Sidhu, CR’s chief security commissioner told Hindustan Times.
As parcel section is a vulnerable area in the Railway Department, Western Railway will direct parcel-booking agents to conduct background checks on clients.
“We will direct courier agents to check clients’ antecedents before booking orders,” said Kumar. The Railways will construct boundary wall with barbed wire fencing along all stations to do away with encroachment which poses a security threat.
“It will help reduce area of surveillance and we will not have to deploy staff to man these entrances and exits,” said Kumar. The RPF is already battling manpower shortage. With the acquisition of new safety gadgets, requirement to man them will rise, thereby worsening the situation. “We will hire private security to address this issue,” said Sidhu.
WR’s RPF is also working along similar lines. “We will hire security guards and will try to ensure gadgets owned by us are manned by our staff,” said Kumar.