In a bid to step up security at Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) stations in Chennai, the Southern Railways has deployed private security personnel at various stops across the city. The move comes at a time when commuters have raised concerns in the past few months over the lack of adequate security cover at the city’s MRTS stations, especially at night.
Sources at the Southern Railways told Indianexpress.com that the personnel, all of whom are former military servicemen, have been appointed on a contract basis for a period of one year in the security branch of the Madras division. “31 ex-servicemen have been appointed at Level – I post for the MRTS section. The security personnel for the remaining stations will be filled shortly,” an official said.
The former servicemen have been appointed due to a shortage in the RPF force deployed at the MRTS stations. “Owing to a shortage of RPF personnel, Santosh N Chandran, the former senior Director of Security (DSC) of the Madras division had requested the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) to appoint 55 former servicemen on a contract basis to the security branch for smooth functioning of the MRTS service across Chennai”, the official added.
With the approval of the senior DSC of Madras division, the security personnel have been deployed in three shifts. “They perform general duty from 8 am to 4 pm and then perform two continuous shifts, one from 4 pm to 12 am and the second from 12 am to 8 am”, the official said.
Along with the RPF personnel, the newly-inducted security personnel will patrol the trains and the MRTS stations and will also carry out platform duty every day.
According to the official, more former servicemen will be deployed in the future on a contract basis to strengthen the MRTS security force.
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