Despite extensive CCTV coverage and heavy security deployment across its premises, Delhi Metro has witnessed a whopping 2,707 cases of thefts in the past four years.
Ironically though, the police have been able to solve only 483, or less than 20%, of such cases.
Apart from this, there have been 7,000 non-cognisable reports that have been filed at various Metro police stations, a majority of which continue to remain unsolved. Police said in 70% of the theft cases, the stolen items are mobile phones and thieves manage to sell these off almost immediately.
“The rate of solving theft cases is very poor in Delhi Metro and in the end it is the commuters who suffer. Cases of such thefts are only growing, which shows that the police have failed to crack down on thieves in Delhi’s most reliable mode of public transport,” said Zishan Haider, director of social organisation Public Protection Movement, who had filed an RTI to procure information related to cases of theft inside the Delhi Metro.
Metro has eight police stations — Kashmere Gate, Rithala, Shastri Park, Kalkaji, Yamuna Bank, Raja Garden, Qutub Minar and Airport.
According to the response to Haider’s RTI, Kashmere Gate has witnessed the most number of cases of theft (657 in total) in 2014. In 2013, the number stood at 388 at the same police station and in 2012 the number of cases registered was 64.
“We have prepared a list of pickpockets who have been active in Metro to solve more cases,” said Sanjay Bhatia, DCP (railway).
Another major problem, which he said could be a reason behind the high number of unsolved cases, was a severe shortage of staff, a fact that was also highlighted in the RTI.
“They (The CISF) don’t have the sanctioned strength and the proposal to induct more personnel is pending for a long time. Over 25 lakh passengers travel daily in Delhi Metro and they must feel safe,” said Haider.
Unlike territorial police stations, the jurisdiction of a Metro police station is spread over a long distance. For passengers travelling in Metro, lodging a complaint of their missing items has always been a bad experience.
Apart from setting up new police stations, the Delhi Police are in the process of opening police booths at all important Metro stations across the city.