The scanning gadgets which have been installed at the entry points of railway stations will be upgraded and highly-trained RPF commandos will be deployed at key points on the major railway stations of the Indian Railways network.
Airport-like security at Indian Railways stations! In a welcome initiative to ensure top-level safety of passengers and goods, some major Indian Railways stations will soon have access-control systems which will be similar to security arrangements of airports across the country. According to an IANS report, Indian Railways stations will be closed from all sides and passengers will have access only through the security channels. The move is aimed at minimising the risk of unauthorised access to the platforms, stations or trains. The scanning gadgets which have been installed at the entry points of railway stations will be upgraded and a team of highly-trained Railway Protection Force (RPF) commandos will be deployed at key points on the major railway stations of the Indian Railways network.
According to the report, the government has already sanctioned a sum of Rs 114.18 crore for this particular task which covers the entire periphery of railway stations where the new security access control system will be installed. Security walls will also be built around important railway stations, measuring almost 3,000 km. Arun Kumar, DG, RPF was quoted in the report saying that security is his top priority and that even the major Indian Railways stations are not properly covered from a security point of view. He explained that there are multiple entries and exit points at the busy stations and most of them are open from all sides, hence allowing for unauthorised access. Hence, RPF is planning to control all the entry and exit points.
Sources quoted in the report stated that mapping of key Indian Railways stations is being done by the experts. At present, newly constructed, ultra modern and soon-to-be world-class railway stations at Habibganj as well as Gandhinagar have an upgraded security system. Soon, railway stations at Delhi and Mumbai will also have an access-control security system installed at several entry and exit points for the safety and convenience of railway passengers. Besides the security of the passengers, a new battalion of commandos has also been deployed by the RPF. The commandos have been currently deployed in the Maoist-affected areas. The RPF is trying to revamp its intelligence and Indian Railways intends to amend the existing laws in order to give more investigative powers to them.
Additionally, if the intelligence inputs and security advisories are taken into consideration, the railway stations have always been a soft and prime target for militants, who gain easy access to the crowded platforms. Some of the major stations in the country that have been targeted earlier by terrorists include stations of busy cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow as well as Guwahati. Serial bombings have also taken place in passenger trains. Along with this, huge thefts at yards also result in heavy revenue losses for the Railway Ministry.