Recently, Indian Railways revealed their plans to secure the passengers and railway stations just like airports. Read on to know more about their plans…
Recently, Indian Railways revealed their plans to seal selected railway stations and ensure the safety of rail passengers just like airports.
Passengers may soon have to report early at railway stations because their entry will be monitored, and random frisking will be carried out before they board the train, according to two senior officials familiar with the railway security plans. Hence, according to reports — the railway passengers will have to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains to complete the process of security checks.
In anticipation of the Kumbh Mela which begins in January this month, Railway Protection Force (RPF) Director General Arun Kumar told PTI that the security plan with high-end technology has already been implemented at Hoobly railway station in Karnataka with a blueprint for more stations ready for implementation. He said that “The plan is to seal the railway stations. It is primarily about identifying openings and to determine how many can be closed. There are areas which will be closed through permanent boundary walls, others will be manned by RPF personnel and yet others will have collapsible gates.” He added “At each entry point there will be random security checks. However, unlike at airports, passengers need not come hours in advance, but just 15 to 20 minutes ahead of their departure times to ensure that they are not delayed because of the security process,”. Speaking on the security, Arun Kumar said that while security will increase, presence of security personnel will not. “If we are inventing in technology, then manpower requirement will reduce,”
“Passengers will be advised to reach early because we will do random frisking, and there will be queues. Also, only genuine passengers will be allowed to enter the station and by plugging gaps — there will be some designated gates to enter the station,” said Arun Kumar. He added, however, that unlike the airport, there will no fixed reporting time. RPF has started a trial run of the security plan in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), where large crowds are expected due to the Kumbh Mela starting on January 15 this year.
Arun Kumar said that the Indian Railways has identified 202 sensitive stations for integrated security system (ISS) and another 983 stations will be brought under Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera cover through the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’. The 202 stations include railway stations in all Metro cities and state capital. The various components of the Integrated Security System include CCTV cameras, access control, personal and baggage screening system and bomb detection and disposal system which together provide multiple checking of passengers and baggage from the point of entry in the station premises till boarding of train. The cameras will have a video analytics feature and will keep recordings for 30 days. The areas that will be covered include entry/exit points, circulating areas, concourse, platforms and foot over-bridges.
Director General of RPF, Kumar said that “The security plan envisages a layered security check where passengers will be scrutinised even before they enter the station premises to ease the pressure at stations during peak hours,”. For the security of passengers, real-time face recognition software will be used to alert the RPF command centre of any known offenders. He added that the “passengers will be checked randomly — every eighth or ninth passenger will undergo the process on his arrival at the station,”
These steps are taken as a part of security plan under the Integrated Security System which was approved in 2016 to strengthen surveillance mechanism at railway stations in India. Arun Kumar said the access control system will be put in place in several sensitive and large railway stations across the country. He added that to ensure access control, the railways plans to get 1.2 million cameras and some of these cameras will also be installed in train coaches. The anticipated cost of this project is said to be around ₹ 385.06 crore.