In view of the prevailing situation at the India-Pakistan border and the festive season, the Government Railway Police (GRP) has decided to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the major railway stations of Punjab. In the first phase, the cameras will be installed at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Pathankot stations.
According to GRP SP Lakhbindarpal Singh Khera, in spite of the Divisional Railway Manager’s (DRM) green signal, the station officials were not cooperating with the GRP in this regard. “The work to install CCTV cameras at the four stations would be completed in a week. But, we do not have space for monitoring rooms. DRM Anuj Prakash has told the officials to identify places for setting up of the monitoring rooms but they have not been handed over to us,” he told PTI.
When contacted, Prakash confirmed that he had told the officials to find places for the purpose. On GRP’s allegation of non-cooperation, he said, “Railway officials have their own work as well. The process has started. We will soon find the places for the monitoring rooms.” He assured the GRP of all help regarding passengers’ safety measures.
Khera said CCTV cameras will also be installed at the other major railway stations in the state such as Jalandhar Cantonment and Bathinda in the subsequent phases of the project.
Meanwhile, a railway official said the railways had nothing to do with the GRP’s project. “We have our own plan to install CCTV cameras at four major stations, including Jalandhar City, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi,” he said, adding that a budget of Rs 2.5 crore has been sanctioned for the same.
Asked if the railways would install cameras at those stations where the GRP has already done the same, he said, “The rail project is about installing cameras at sensitive places, including rail lines. Hence, a decision can only be taken in this regard after we receive instructions from the higher-ups.”
Khera blamed the “indifference” of the officials for the delay in implementing the project at Jalandhar, Pathankot and Amritsar stations.