Mumbai: Security to be stepped up in 37 railway stationshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/security-to-be-stepped-up-in-37-railway-stations-5450742/

Mumbai: Security to be stepped up in 37 railway stations

After the 2008 attacks, the Railways had implemented the Integrated Security System, which include the installation of door frame metal detectors, hand held metal detectors, vehicle scanners and other equipment to guard entry and exit points at stations.

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(Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

THE DIRECTOR General (DG) of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Arun Kumar, said on Friday that the Railways is working on a plan to ensure strict implementation of its Integrated Security System (ISS) in 37 stations of Mumbai.

Kumar, who was on a three-day visit to Mumbai, had taken charge as the DG last month. He was reviewing the safety parameters in stations ahead of the tenth anniversary of the November 26, 2008, terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Maintaining that a security plan is underway to fix all loopholes, Kumar said: “Under the plan, all entry and exit points of stations will be monitored. In the long run, we will have access control set up at the stations… similar to what we have at airports. While it is a difficult haul, we are working on it.”

After the 2008 attacks, the Railways had implemented the ISS, which include the installation of door frame metal detectors, hand held metal detectors, vehicle scanners and other equipment to guard entry and exit points at stations. However, the ISS is yet to be strictly implemented across all stations.

“Unless a security plan is in place, we cannot say that we have implemented it properly. While we have a lot of technology at our disposal, including scanners and squads, we need to implement the system in a planned manner. We would also identify which ammunition is required and how to identify cases of threat,” said Kumar.

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“From a total of 202 stations, the plan would be implemented in 37 on the Western Railway and 17 on the Central Railway,” he added.

Kumar said that the security plan would be worked out in a month. Some of the major stations to be covered are Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Andheri, Borivali, Churchgate, Dadar, Santacruz, Nallasopara, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Kalyan.

“From next year, 0.25 per cent of the Railways budget allocated for Mumbai suburban will be used for security purposes. This way, we would face no funds crunch while enhancing security measures,” he said.

Kumar added that a mobile application, where passengers can track the action taken on their complaints, is underway. “We are discussing the issues of suburban Railways, including illegal hawking zones and phatka gangs. Suburban Railways is a culture in itself and we are trying to fix its loopholes,” he said.

To make up for the lack of staff in the RPF, 9,000 additional posts will be filled up soon, Kumar said. Among them, 1,417 employees will be deployed in Mumbai. He added that 4,000 female RPF staff members are working to address security complaints of women on the suburban line.