Aug 12, 2017

Railways gears up for a safe Independence Day

All zones directed to step up security arrangements

Mumbai: With just two days to go for Independence Day, and a crude bomb being found in the Amritsar-bound Akal Takht Express, the Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF) has directed all zonal railways to carry out strict security checks at railway stations, washing lines and yards, which can be highly vulnerable to attacks.
In the security notification, usually sent out every year before important occasions, Director General of RPF, Railway Board, S.K. Bhagat has said that extremists are desperate to attempt subversive activities on public premises, including in trains and railway stations around the time of Independence Day.

“The railway stations, yards, washing lines and tracks in Jammu and Kashmir, railway station in Metro cities, naxal-affected areas and areas bordering Pakistan (from Gujarat to Jammu and Kashmir) are highly vulnerable to such attacks,” the letter reads.

RPF and Government Railway Police officials have started forming special teams and are making available all the security equipment required. Both agencies, however, are facing a staff and funds crunch.

The letter has instructed security officials to thoroughly check platforms, railway station premises, yards, trains, tracks, bridges, tunnels and workshops.

“We are monitoring each and every thing after getting the letter. Calls received on the helpline numbers are being monitored closely. Staff manning the CCTV camera room has been increased,” said a senior RPF official from Western Railway.

Key spots like toilets, cloak rooms, parcel areas and the waiting room will be checked at regular intervals. “We have been advised to lock the doors after maintenance of rakes. They will travel up to the platforms with closed doors. Sniffer dogs will be used to check trains in peak hours,” the official said.

The Railway Board has also asked the respective railway zones to clean the garbage lying near the tracks, as it could be an easy target for miscreants.

“We are trying our best to clean the sections immediately. But as we need to cover a large area, the work may take some time. The staff and passengers who are active about railway issues have been asked to watch out for any suspicious objects or persons, and immediately inform the railway staff or helpline,” a Central Railway official said.
Source - The Hindu