Short-staffed Delhi’s Railway police only has 5 sniffer dogs
Officials from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said the security agency’s Delhi wing only has five sniffer dogs, no bomb disposal squad and shortage of personnel.delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2018 03:12 IST
Officials from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said the security agency’s Delhi wing only has five sniffer dogs, no bomb disposal squad and shortage of personnel.
The RPF handles the security of more than 1,000 trains and at least 15 lakh daily passengers across 232 railway stations under the Delhi Division of Northern Railways, which stretches from Kurukshetra in Haryana up to Tapri in Uttar Pradesh.
Senior officers, who did not wish to be quoted, said it is not possible for just five dogs to scan every train. As a result, only a few trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express are sanitised.
Officers also said that out of these 232 railway stations, only 20 are covered under CCTV cameras. The RPF also does not have any bomb squad of its own, is dependent solely on these five dogs whenever a suspicion over an unattended baggage or suspicious luggage is arises, officers said.
RPF’s senior divisional security commissioner Shashi Kumar confirmed that the force only has five sniffer dogs and no bomb disposal squad at its disposal in Delhi.
A senior RPF official requesting anonymity said, “Their sniffing ability lasts not more than two hours and after that they need rest to regain their efficiency. With just five dogs, our task becomes challenging. Due to the shortage it is not possible for us to cover all the trains, as a result only Rajdhani, Shatabdi and a few VIP trains are the only ones sanitised.”
Meanwhile, senior railway officers claimed there is no laxity on passengers’ security.
The DRM, Delhi division, RN Singh said that on special occasions they increase security adequately and also hire dogs from other forces whenever needed. “Our main focus is at the major railway stations in Delhi which are categorised under A1 as they witness massive footfall. Despite the staff crunch, we have at least 100 to 150 men from the Government Railway Police (GRP) and 1,000 to 1,500 RPF personnel guarding these A1 railway stations,” the DRM said.
On the shortage of CCTV cameras, Singh said that measures are being taken to utilise the Nirbhaya fund to install cameras at other stations.
Four major stations in Delhi – New Delhi, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar — collectively witness a footfall of at least 11 lakh passengers a day and over 500 trains operating.
First Published: Aug 20, 2018 03:12 IST