Short-staffed GRP rues, robbers rule – Though Divisional Railway authorities, Guntur Division are facing flak for the robbery on train, they attribute it to severe shortage of staff
Guntur गुंटूर (GNT): The recent robbery in the Chennai Express near Piduguralla railway station in which a dacoit gang escaped with gold ornaments and other valuables, valued about Rs.5 lakh, from the passengers has brought the security lapse on moving trains to the fore.
Though the authorities of the Guntur Rail Division were in for a criticism for the lapse, they attribute to the severe shortage of staff at various railway station. Even a cursory glance at the staff strength at various railway police stations under the newly created division says it all.
Nadikudi railway station which is considered as a hub for robbers does not even have a government railway police (GRP) station.
Security proposals gather dust
Authorities say though a requisition has been sent to allot 24 policemen, including one sub-inspector, three head constables and 20 police constables to the station, the proposal is gathering
dust. Similar is the case of Bapatla railway station. The proposal seeking sanction of one sub-inspector, two head constables and eight constables is still carrying the ‘pending’ tag. Likewise, the passengers’ safety at Dhonakonda and Repalle stations have been entrusted to one constable each, while the sanctioned strength is five for each station.
Tenali railway station is also running with police station marred by severe staff shortage.
Speaking to ‘The Hindu’, Superintendent of Railway Police, Vijayawada Division, Ch. Syam Prasad says the dacoit gangs from the neighbouring States are taking advantage of the poor police strength in the division.
“Guntur Railway Division has around 90 vacancies and we badly need staff. As of now, we are deputing police from Vijayawada Division. We request the SPs of the districts under the division to allot us staff from Civil wing,” he says.
Special force sought
With many trains passing the division between 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., robbers are targeting the passengers in night services. Recently, we asked the South Central Railway to create a special force with 100 home guards to assist the existing Government Railway Police, which is yet to be cleared, the SP says.