One officer at each railway station is the new formula chalked out by Government Railway Police (GRP) commissioner Ravinder Singal to get over the host of issues faced by the force. Singal hopes to bring about a sea change in the way railway stations in Mumbai are monitored.
The GRP, which has in the past faced heat from the Bombay high court over insufficient security measures to protect women, does not even have one walkie-talkie handset at each of the city’s suburban railway stations.
The force has only 120 walkie-talkie handsets to coordinate and patrol 136 suburban railway stations in the city. But of these, only about 50 handsets are in working condition.
Moreover, each GRP station has around five railway stations under its jurisdiction, with at least four inspectors assigned to the police station. These inspectors, who are posted at the main police station, investigate cases of crime and cultivate sources in the field.
“According to the new plan, these inspectors will be responsible for the crimes that take place on the stations they are deployed at. They will be answerable for the rise in the number of cases and will have to take steps to curb them. This will help bring in more accountability and transparency in day-to-day operations,” said Singal.
The commissioner has issued formal orders, which are likely to be executed soon.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to give the required push for the short-staffed force, the GRP is also being helped by the local arms (LA) division of the city police, to conduct combing operations at all major railway stations every day.
Major terminals such as Bandra, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla), Dadar and Mumbai Central, among others, are jointly combed every day. “Around 40 police personnel of the police’s LA come to these terminals and with the GRP staff concerned, comb all the platforms and station premises. This is a routine exercise and will help keep the security in check,” said Pradeep Bijwe, assistant commissioner of police, GRP (Western Railway).