After Hindustan Times, in its November 15 edition , highlighted the lack of police personnel on Central Railway’s harbour line – the Chunabhatti-Sandhurst Road stretch in particular – the Government Railway Police (GRP) has deployed more personnel to man these stations.
In addition, a “harbour striking force” will also be constantly patrolling all platforms on this route. Officials said the deployment was made after 140 new recruits joined the force following training.
“We have given priority to the harbour line and have provided as many personnel as possible. All officers, including deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and myself, met and discussed this issue,” said GRP commissioner Dr Ravinder Singal.
During a survey of the harbour line last week, HT found no policemen deployed at platforms on the stretch between Chunabhatti and Sandhurst Road throughout the day.
Since then, around 14 policemen have been allotted to two police stations – Wadala and Vashi GRP – under whose jurisdiction this stretch falls.
All other railway police stations along with the railway crime branch have been allotted around six personnel each. In all, there are 17 police stations in the Mumbai division of the GRP.
To provide backup to these personnel, a harbour striking force – which until now was only stationed at Wadala – will patrol all the stations on the harbour line.
“The harbour striking force is a contingency team that is rushed to a railway station in case of emergency. Till date, it used to be stationed at Wadala and moved when needed. Now, they will constantly patrol all the stations,” said Rupali Ambure, deputy commissioner of police, GRP (CR).
GRP officers also stated that at times, policemen posted at platforms do not report for duty. While police sub-inspectors do visit stations to supervise their presence, the system is not fool-proof.
“This is another issue that GRP faces. In case a policeman is found to be a habitually missing his station duty, we initiate departmental action against him as per the rules,” Singal added.