At a time when security arrangements are being strengthened ahead of Republic Day, Chandigarh railway station still lacks proper arrangements. Being one of the important stations in the country, it is not a comfortable sight to behold.
Entering from the Chandigarh side of the station, the Door Frame Metal Detector (DFMD) is barely functional. And, as there is no security person present there to ensure that everyone passes through it, people enter from the side.
The most vulnerable part of the station is the Panchkula side which has no DFMDs of any sort or checking mechanism in place. Passengers can be seen entering the station with their luggage without any sort of frisking. Also, there is no X-ray scanner to check the luggage.
The Security House Officer of the GRP (Government Railway Police) said, “It is not always the case that passengers are not checked before they enter the station. But since manpower is limited when trains like the Shatabdi arrive, maximum personnel are appointed to ensure that no problems occur on that specific platform. It may seem for some moments in the day that the station is not protected but I assure you that all necessary steps are being taken. The GRP is also required to investigate if some FIR is registered and so officials can be busy with that too.”
The GRP has caught a large amount of alcohol which was being transported illegally in the past few days from the railway station and have also taken the initiative to spread awareness among taxi and autorickshaw drivers about suspicious people or items but still, the presence of security within the station premises is not visible.
A proposal has also been made for the installation of new Closed Circuit Television Cameras in and around the railway station premises as the current ones have become old. A senior member of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said, “The 36 cameras at present are functioning properly but since they are very old, there is a dire need for an upgrade. The new proposal, which is in the final stages of approval, will raise the total camera strength on the premises of the station to over 100.”
Addressing the issue of less or no security personnel, he added, “There are always people on duty but sometimes during the day they can be busy with the arriving trains and traffic at the station. It may seem that there is a gap in security but everything is sorted.”
It has been 15 days since Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Dinesh Sharma said at a press conference that the security issues at the railway station would be looked into and appropriate steps would be taken.