The Indian Railways has decided to build 100 additional barracks at key location for the Railway Protection Force in order to step up security for both passengers and rail property, an official letter has said.
According to the letter issued on August 29 by the Railway Board to the zonal railways, Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani said that in a meeting with the DGP Railway Protection Force (RPF) non-availability of barracks at key locations were highlighted. “In fact a need for 100 additional barracks for the RPF personnel was highlighted by the RPF DG.
In phase 1, 10 locations have been short-listed for expeditious construction of the barracks,” the letter stated. It also said as the requirement of the RPF was essential for the secure and safe operations of railways, the short-listed barracks be built on priority.
There are 744 barracks in the country for residential facilities of RPF and RPSF personnel while 740 posts and 527 outposts of the RPF across the railway network.
The barracks are usually built near railway stations for easy access to them. The ten barracks include one each near station premises in West Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri and Kolkata Terminal in Sealdah, Kishanganj in Delhi, Raipur in Chattisgarh and Rayagada in Odisha.
There would be two barracks each in Danapur, one for women personnel, and Lumding in Assam. The letter comes a month after the board had instructed the zonal railways to upgrade facilities for the RPF. The board had said that basic amenities like drinking water, toilets and vehicles for the railways’ security personnel, both at their barracks and work, should be improved as it had been pending for decades.
The RPF is a security force of India entrusted with protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways. It also has the responsibility of escorting passenger trains in vulnerable areas.