With the Government Railway Police (GRP) short of at least 2,000 personnel, policemen in all women’s compartments on local trains may not be a reality anytime soon.
A proposal seeking more policemen, sent by the commissioner of police (GRP) to the state government and the railway board in February this year, is still gathering dust.
Police sources said while the state government gave its nod to the proposal and asked the GRP commissioner’s office to get sanction from the railways, the latter is yet to respond. The sanction from the state government and the railway board is required as both bear 50-50 of the expenditure for the force.
At present, around 344 policemen are deployed on security duty in women’s compartments on all lines of the suburban section – western, central and harbour.
The policemen work in two shifts and cover two coaches at extreme ends of the trains. No policeman can be provided in the middle women’s coach because of the staff shortage, police said.
The commissioner had sent a proposal to the railway general managers, railway board and the government asking for 2,000 policemen for round-the-clock deployment on all women’s coaches.
“It is the need of the hour and with the rise in the number of commuters and coaches (from 12 to 15), filling the vacuum is important. The extra force should either be sanctioned for the GRP, Railway Protection Force (RPF) or the Home Guards. Increase the numbers of any of these police arms as that would help upgrade security,” Prabhat Kumar, GRP Commissioner said.
Stating that incidents of crime generally take place while trains are in motion, he said the presence of policemen inside a coach would act as a deterrent.