The Mangalore Central Railway Station is installing Integrated Security System (ISS) to ensure overall security of the premises but has not taken steps to close at least six illegal entry points.
The 3.4 crore ISS installation was mooted in the wake of intelligence inputs that railway stations across the country are vulnerable to terror attack. Under the Southern Railway Palakad division, Kozhikode and Mangalore central were selected as major stations to start with implementing ISS protection.
Though the installation work are going on at a snail’s pace, railway authorities have not taken steps to block multiple entry which pose severe security threat. These points are allegedly used by anti-social elements and tax evading parcel companies to get into and get out of the train. Officials admit that railway has been losing huge amount in parcel revenue for not sealing the illegal route.
Six illegal entry points
There are at least six illegal entries to Mangalore central station otherthan the main entrance and the second entrance from Attavar side.
Without cordoning these multiple entries and sans a compound wall, how could railway ensures safety by putting ISS in place? “no answer to this. ISS is a plan by Union Railway Ministry and it doesn’t address any vital local security issues,” said a Railway Protection Force (RPF) officer at Mangalore central station on condition of anonymity.
He doesn’t rule out the possibility of anti social elements sneaking into the railway premises and executing their plan virtually without any hassles.
RPF and Karnataka railway police have been entrusted with monitoring integrated security system.
Long delayed installation
The process of installation of ISS has commenced at Central station since six months. Internet protocol based 38 CC cameras over three platforms, a control room for access control, two luggage scanner at two entries, a parcel scanner at parcel office, metal detector at main entry, two under-vehicle scanners at both entries, bomb detector and disposing system encompass ISS.
Already 35 cameras have been installed. Though basement of under-vehicle scanner has built, the machines are yet to come.
The under-vehicle scanner is for scanning and saving the digital image of the number plate, driver and an under view of all the vehicles that enter station premises.
One luggage scanner has started functioning at the main entrance wherein the second at second platform is not. “Parcel scanner has reached station. But to install it, the wall of the parcel office needs to be slightly demolished. That’s the reason for delay,” Project Manager of Nalco, K Vinod told. Hyderabad based company, Nalco has been entrusted with the task of installing machines.
Dearth of RPF personnel
The RPF sources was of the opinion that without deploying sufficient number of security personnel ISS would not be effective as contemplated. An additional 10 trained personnel will be needed to operate all the machines which is not in the cards, as of now.