Madurai (MDU): An outpost would start functioning at Railway Protection Force (RPF) outpost in Kovilpatti police station shortly, said P. Sankar Kutty, Divisional Security Commander (Madurai) of Southern Railway.
Talking to press persons after conducting annual inspection at Dindigul RPF office here on Wednesday, he said that the proposals had been sent to the government to set up RPF outposts at Manapparai, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram railway stations.
Now each RPF inspector had to cover a distance of 80-100 km. Already, the Madurai RPF division was struggling with shortage of manpower. A total of 400 RPF personnel had been covering 1700-km-long railway tracks in the Madurai division – from Tiruchi outer to Tirunelveli, and from Rameswaram to Kollam outer. For example, Dindigul RPF had to cover up to Tiruchi, and Manamadurai RPF must cover up to Ramanathapuram. The manpower strength should at least be doubled for effective surveillance, he pointed out.
To improve surveillance at railway stations, 68 CCTV cameras had been installed at vantage points in Madurai railway station and 24 cameras each at Dindigul and Tirunelveli railway stations.
CCTV network for coastal areas
Efforts were on to bring railway stations in coastal areas under CCTV network for effective monitoring. To begin with, CCTV cameras would be commissioned at Rameswaram, Tiruchendur and Tuticorin stations. A proposal had been sent to install CCTV cameras on Pamban Bridge too, he added.
The RPF had expanded its role by giving top priority to passenger security now. Earlier, it was concentrating only on protection of railway properties. Two special teams of special task force (STF) comprising a sub-inspector and six police personnel, and Crime Prevention and Detection Squad (CPDS) had been constituted to prevent crimes.
Clad in plainclothes, the STF personnel would interact with passengers in trains and enlighten them on safety and precautionary measures to be taken to prevent theft and the CPDS men would be directly involved in crime detection.
Number of crimes comes down
With effective policing, the number of crimes falling under the Railway Act had been reduced in Dindigul railway station. About 1,500 cases were registered in 2013, 1,150 cases in 2014 and 803 case till date this year.
Earlier, the commander inspected RPF barracks and verified records. Dindigul RPF Inspector K. Durai Raj accompanied him.
68 CCTV cameras had been installed at vantage points in Madurai railway station and 24 cameras each at Dindigul and Tirunelveli railway stations