According to railway officials, the finance ministry had allotted Rs 50 lakh each to bring at least 1,000 railway stations and major trains under surveillance.
The railway network has over the past year seen a barrage of mishaps- some suspected to be the handiwork of saboteurs- and Tuesday's train blast once again exposed chinks in its security apparatus even as funds to strengthen the defences gather dust.
According to senior railway officials, the finance ministry had allotted Rs 50 lakh each to bring at least 1,000 railway stations, which witness high number of footfalls, and major trains under surveillance. However, almost 95 per cent of the railway stations and the entire fleet of trains still lack CCTV cameras to keep a check on suspicious activities.
On Tuesday, 10 people were injured after the blast on a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train. The explosion took place around 9.50am near Jabdi station in Madhya Pradesh's Ratlam division as the train was heading from Bhopal to Ujjain, railways spokesperson Jitendra Kumar Jayant said. Over 150 people died on November 21 when the Indore-Patna Express flew off the tracks. A month later, 50 people were injured when the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailed.
SANCTIONED OUT OF NIRBHAYA FUND
The Rs 500 crore sanctioned by the finance ministry out of the Nirbhaya Fund to install CCTV cameras at stations lies untouched. This despite the fact that 40 security scares, including attempts of sabotage, have been reported by the railways in 2016-17 compared to 45 the previous year.
Sources confirmed the use of explosives for the Madhya Pradesh blast and a top railway official said splinters were found in the damaged coach. A suitcase was found near the blast site and officials are examining forensic evidence. MP home minister Bhoopendra Singh said initial probe point to a terror attack.
Railway officials said security has been beefed up across stations but, in the absence of a monitoring system, it will prove tough. At present, only A1 and A category stations have CCTV cameras and the remaining have no surveillance system. There are nearly 8,000 railway stations across the country. Of these, 75 stations have been categorised as A1 while 320 stations fall in the A category. - India Today