Describing rail security as crucial and a much larger concern, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said global cooperation is required to tackle the issue as railways is considered a soft target by terrorists.
Speaking at a conference to discuss the issue of rail security, Prabhu said an attack on railways might be local but the motivation is global.
“Whether the attack on trains and stations in Mumbai or at a bar in Paris, the motivation is same,” he said.
The conference, organised by International Union of Railways (UIC), was attended by delegates from many countries.
Stating that security threat to railways is a common problem, Prabhu said, “Railways is considered a soft target by terrorists. It is not possible to frisk everybody. If people want to target India, they will attack railways. Some countries may not like India to grow.”
He said there is a need to share information, ideas and best practices among countries to tackle the security issue.
Highlighting the importance of assessing threat perception and intelligence gathering, the Minister said, “With proper assessment, a strategy can be worked out. We need to gather security related information as it is crucial for dealing with it.”
Prabhu said safety and security are two big priority issues for the railways.
“While travelling, passengers expect good services as well as a safe and secure journey. So safety and security are important for railways. Both are very important globally. While safety is an inbuilt system for railway operation, security needs to be put in place,” he said.
Referring to the ideology behind terror attacks, he said, “Security threat comes from misconceived ideology. What is happening is a global phenomenon. So we need to evolve holistic management to look at it.”
UIC, established in 1922 for promoting rail transport worldwide, is on a mission to promote interoperability, standardisation of rail transport, increased cooperation and sharing of best practices, and to propose improved technical and environmental performance of rail transport among others.