The serial blasts on July 13 have forced authorities to assess railway security. A senior railway official on condition of anonymity said, “We will discuss ways to enhance security measures at stations.”
The director general of Railway Police Force, PK Mehta will have a meeting with general manager Kul Bhushan and Central and Western Railway officials on Tuesday.
Commuters have often complained about finding railway police sitting on the benches provided at platforms. “The police are busy chatting and rarely check luggage,” said K Sanghavi, a commuter.
Commuters also complain that the entrances and exits at stations close to the platforms remain unchecked, especially during peak hours. Although railway officials claim that closed circuit cameras (CCTVs) are monitored at all times, railway officials admit that some of them are non-functional.
Commuters also feel that small stations are easy inlets for terrorists. “We never find policemen patrolling smaller stations,” said D Godbole, member, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh. “The railway police are busy collecting bribes from vendors,” said Kailash Verma, member, Mumbai Rail Passenger Association.
Commuters feel the railway police do not have enough manpower. They also complain that their demand for security equipment at stations has not been acted upon. “The parcel depots close to stations are also unchecked,” said Subhash Gupta, member, National Rail Users Consultative Committee.
Officials, however, claim it is difficult for them to place security personnel at every station. They, therefore, concentrate on the more important stations.
“We have metal door frames at station entrances and have also introduced the railway police special force, which is monitored at the highest level,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.