How secure are the Railway Stations – The broad daylight murder of a girl at Secunderabad Railway Station exposes a Lax Security System

Secunderabad (SC): The gruesome broad daylight murder of a seven-year-old girl at the Secunderabad Railway Station on Tuesday has once again brought to light the lax security at the station. While the Integrated Security System project was in place three years ago, except for surveillance cameras and metal detectors, baggage scanners, under-vehicle scanners and portable baggage scanners are yet to be installed at the station.

Slow implementation

Sadly, the full-scale implementation of the security system proposed at Tirupati, Hyderabad and Secunderabad by the Railway Board at a cost of Rs.6 crore has been slow. As a result, only door frame metal detectors and surveillance cameras are active at Secunderabad, Kacheguda, Tirupati and Hyderabad stations.

As regards the Secunderabad Railway Station, there were plans to install two baggage scanners at the main entrance and another in the Bhoiguda side, besides a few portable scanners.

Also, vehicle scanners were proposed on the way to the main portico. Though measures were initiated for installing baggage and under-vehicle scanners by September 2011, they got delayed. The deadline was later extended to December 31, 2011, but that, too, was also not met.

Incidentally, close to 1.50 lakh passengers travel to different destinations from the Secunderabad Railway Station everyday.

Similar is the situation at the Hyderabad Railway Station.

Besides scanners, there were plans to procure one mobile baggage scanner for random check of luggage. “Mere deployment of security personnel is not sufficient, and the authorities need to beef up security both in trains and stations using advanced safety equipment,” observed J.S.T. Sayi, a regular traveller in Satahavana, Intercity, Machilipatnam Express trains from Hyderabad to Vijayawada. “Even the personnel guarding metal detectors at stations entrance check baggage perfunctorily,” he added.

In place in a month

When contacted, an SCR spokesperson claimed that the total implementation of the security system would be completed within a month.