The Central Railway and Western Railway have failed in proper implementation of security measures, according to a recently released Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report. Dissatisfaction by commuters over monitoring of safety measures by security personnel were noticed too in the report.
In the CAG report released on July 26, loopholes were found in proper installation of the Integrated Security System (ISS) at many suburban stations on the Central and Western railways.
ISS was conceptualised after the 2006 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai to be installed at identified vulnerable locations all over the railway network. It envisaged an Internet protocol-based CCTV system, access control, personal and baggage screening system, bomb detection and disposal system.
According to the CAG report, ISS has been partially installed at the suburban stations of Central Railway. Eight years after its conceptualisation, 14 CR stations and four WR stations still lack door frame metal detectors (DFMDs), says the report.
It also states that an absence was felt in proper examination of security measures for CR. “The purpose of installation of DFMDs was defeated due to multiple unauthorized/unmanned Entry and Exit points at most of the suburban stations,” the report read.
The data also points to an unsatisfactory response of safety arrangements from regular commuters. According to the report, “175 of 258 passengers and 186 out of 302 passengers at stations expressed dissatisfaction with the security and safety arrangements.”
On WR too, irregularities in enforcement by the security personnel was found. “The DFMDs were installed at only two stations namely Churchgate and Borivli, which did not serve its purpose as they were not monitored by the security personnel. DFMD at Borivli station was found to be non-functional on the day of joint inspection with the railway officials,” says the report.
Also, in the data procured of crimes against women on railway premises from the RPF and the GRP, CR topped the list with 1,336 cases in three years. While WR recorded 49 cases of crimes against women, CCTV cameras were in its women’s compartments in one rake on a trial basis.
RPF authorities confirmed the process to procure equipment was slow. “We have 2,583 CCTV cameras, of which some are non-functional. Out of 13 total equipment in ISS, nine are yet to be procured. Though we have a few bomb technicians, we rely on the city police’s bomb detection team,” said Sachin Bhalode, Security Divisional Commissioner, RPF, CR. The report recommends expediting implementation of the ISS at all identified sensitive stations, providing other essential security measures and preventing unauthorised entry at important stations.