Indian Railways now want to seal stations just like Airports and passengers would have to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled departure of their trains to complete the process of security checks.
The security plan – with high end technology – has already been put in motion at Allahabad, in anticipation of the Kumbh Mela which begins this month and at Hoobly Railway Station in Karnataka with a blueprint for 202 more stations prepared for implementation, Railway Protection Force Director General Arun Kumar told PTI.
“The plan is to seal the railway stations. It is basically 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.
“At every section point there will be random security checks. However, unlike at airports, passengers need not come hours in advance, but just 15-20 minutes ahead of their departure times to ensure that they are not delayed because of the security process,” he said.
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,” he said.
These steps are a part of a security plan under the Integrated Security System (ISS) which was approved in 2016 to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 202 railway stations.
The ISS will involve 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 anticipated cost of the ISS project stands at Rs 385.06 crore.
“The security plan visualizes 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,” Arun Kumar said.
It will also include real-time face recognition software which will alert the RPF command centre of any known offenders.
Passengers will be checked randomly – every eighth or ninth passenger will undergo the process on his arrival at the station,” he said.