A two-year-old proposal requesting an increase in the sanctioned strength of the Government Railway Police (GRP) of Karnataka is still pending before the Railway Board even as there is an urgent need for proper policing of the railway premises.
Sanctioned staff strength of the state GRP is 900 and the proposal suggested almost doubling it to 1,760. A senior police officer from the Karnataka GRP said there is a shortage of men whenever high alert is declared at railway stations. Proper policing could help prevent crime on the tracks too, he said. A woman was sexually assaulted and thrown out of a moving train near Mandya on the way to Mysore two years ago.
Railway police prepared a detailed proposal for increasing the sanctioned strength and it was sent to the Railway Board on July 6, 2012, where it is still languishing two years later.
“It is very difficult to manage a 3,782-km length of railway track, 363 railway stations and over 1,100 railway platforms in the state. Staff are working under pressure, which impacts the quality of work,” a police officer said.
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Additional Director General of Police (GRP, Karnataka) MN Reddi did not comment on the workload. But he confirmed that the proposal to increase the sanctioned strength is pending.
As per the proposal, GRP Karnataka requires 16 additional police sub-inspectors, 81 assistant sub-inspectors, 156 head constables and 604 police constables. The proposal also mentioned the safety of women and children. “There is a steady increase in the number of tourists visiting the state. The railways have also introduced trains connecting places of religious sites. Security must be provided to tourists who cannot speak the local language, especially foreigners,” the proposal pointed out.