GRP asks govt for more CCTVs at stations
Mumbai: A study carried out by the Government Railway Police (GRP) on security in the suburban railway system has revealed that as many as 42 stations in the Mumbai division do not have Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs). Fed up with the absence of CCTV cameras at railway stations, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have sent a letter to the state government, asking the latter to provide funds for more cameras to be placed at railway stations in the city. The letter comes on the back of the incident on August 6 when a 22-year-old management student was molested in a running train near Grant Road station at around 11 pm. The incident once again raised questions about lack of security for women in local trains at night.
This detail came up on Monday during a presentation by GRP commissioner Madhukar Pandey at a meeting of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) regarding security on trains.
“As many as 88 stations have 1900 cameras but cameras at only five stations provide advanced high resolution footage. Those at other stations are of inferior quality,” said Pandey.
The GRP also demanded that all ladies compartments in the suburban train system should be clubbed together for better management of security, especially late in the evening. As of now, the GRP is managing its shortfall in manpower by roping in home guards for deployment in ladies coaches after 10.30 pm. However, on some occasions home guards do not turn up.
Pandey also maintained that ladies’ compartments should have CCTV cameras.
“Some people are of the opinion that women may have objections to CCTVs but this should not be an issue as similar devices are common in other modes of transport like Metro, BEST and even monorail,” Pandey said.
The GRP commissioner brought up other regular problems like snatchings by people standing on OHE poles and said the poles should be wrapped in barbed wire. He also suggested that railway tracks should be fenced in to prevent stone-throwing incidents.
A UMTA member said, “Nearly 70 lakh commuters travel by suburban railway transport and it security is not full proof compared to Metro and Mono system.It is high time that security is given top most priority to in suburban railway too.”
According to the letter, the GRP said that only 88 stations on Mumbai suburban i.e. Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway’s (CR) mainline, harbour and trans-harbour had around 1,900 CCTV cameras while 42 stations had no cameras at all. It was also mentioned that only five out of these 1,900 CCTV cameras had the resolution to identify faces of miscreants and as a result, most of the time, it had become difficult to track down miscreants and those who often attacked women in trains. “The cameras that are currently in place have absolutely low resolution; we cannot make out the face of an accused and usually have to rely on clothes to identify a person. If the accused changes his clothes, then our last clue disappears as well,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
Co-incidentally, 19-year-old Pappu Yadav, who was later nabbed by the Railway Police Force (RPF) for the Grant Road incident was identified mainly because he hadn’t changed his clothes i.e. a blue T-shirt and red cotton three-fourths at the time of the incident captured by CCTV cameras.