Railway officials probing the Santragachi stampede discovered on Thursday that none of the 30 security cameras in the railway station were recording. The reason: they were disconnected to provide power for construction work to improve facilities in the station.
“There is no point hiding anything. Due to construction work the connections were off and no CCTV cameras were working. Hence I have directed them to install proper CCTV cameras,” said P S Mishra, general manager, South Eastern Railway (SER) who visited the station on Thursday.
The construction work includes a new 12-metre wide footover-bridge (FOB) to supplement the 2.5-metre wide one where the stampede broke out on Tuesday. This is expected to be completed by January 31, 2019, said Mishra. Mishra ordered the installation of more CCTVs on the existing FOB before Diwali.
Meanwhile, a day after The Indian Express reported survivors’ claims that there were not enough railway police personnel deployed at the station, Mishra said that more security would be deployed at the stations to ensure passenger security.
“I have directed all divisional railway managers under me to take necessary measures and ensure safety and security of the passengers in their respective divisions,” said Mishra, adding that the guards would be deployed during peak hours till the new footover-bridge
Chief PRO, SER, Sanjoy Ghosh said automatic ticket vending machines will be installed at both entry points of the station to reduce crowding at the station, in addition to additional booking counters.
The stampede broke out allegedly owing to the simultaneous arrival of three trains. Two persons were killed in the incident. Government Railway Police (GRP) filed an FIR over the incident against unknown people and a four-member Railways committee is probing the incident.