Railway Cops to regulate entry and exit points at 11 CR Stations

The GRP and RPF on Thursday decided that the police presence will be increased particularly on the 27 unauthorised entry and exit points.

MUMBAI: In a bid to regulate the entry and exit points at the stations, the Railway Police Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) have identified 11 Central Railways (CR) stations with 27 unauthorised entry and exit points.

The Railways has been trying to find ways to make sure that railway stations are not as vulnerable as the CST was when the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s 10 gunmen, including Ajmal Kasab, had attacked it in November 2008.

The Railways has selected Kurla, Thane, Kalyan, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Diva, Ghatkopar, Karjat, Vashi and Panvel stations. Although these stations collectivity have 91 authorised exit and entry points, the unauthorised entry and exit points have been a cause for concern. The officials are unable to find a solution as there is almost no tool available to monitor lakhs of commuters on the platform.

The GRP and RPF on Thursday decided that the police presence will be increased particularly on the 27 unauthorised entry and exit points.

After reviewing the number of personnel at these stations, the agencies have found severe lacunae. Currently, there is only one personnel manning the main hall at LTT, Dadar, Thane and Kalyan while there is no one at the vital access points at Kurla, Vashi, Panvel, Vadala, Diva, Ghatkopar and Karjat.

The data in a report presented at the meeting has also revealed that people who board long-distance trains at LTT station use unauthorised points and the main entrance that lies along the Chunnabhatti-Kurla highway is not frequently used by the commuters. There is no boundary wall available near the main entrance.

GRP dials BPO staff for distress call lessons

Call centre employees will give tips to Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel on how to ask the right questions to commuters in distress and dealing with them with sensitivity over the phone. The exercise will precede the launch of a state-wide railway security helpline which will identify the location of the caller and send help at the next halt of the train. Just like in BPOs, a job-sheet will be maintained and the log won’t be closed unless satisfactory feedback is received from the caller.

“At present, every railway police commissionerate in Maharashtra has its own helpline. Recollecting or dialling a 10 digit number when one is in an emergency becomes tough. The state-wide helpline, 1512, will be short and replace all existing helplines,” a senior IPS officer said. The four-digit helpline should kick off by next month.

Officers said identifying a caller’s location will be the biggest advantage of the new helpline. “When a commuter is travelling between two cities on a train, he may not always know which region the train is passing through. If you turn on your cellphone location before calling, our software will find out where exactly you are. The system would alert the nearest GRP chowkie and help will be sent at the next halt. The helpline operator will convey to the commuter the name of the cop who would attend to him and where. Once the caller is attended to, his feedback will be taken. The call log won’t be closed unless the caller is satisfied,” an officer said. The system can also be used by superiors to map the location of their subordinates in GRP.

Call centre staff will train helpline operators in diction, politeness, lending a ear to commuters and coming up with the right response. Every call received on the helpline will be recorded for review. “The project is being tested now. We want it to become as popular as Mumbai Police’s 100 helpline,” said a senior officer.

GRP’s image took a beating recently when a constable refused help to a girl who had shot a pervert masturbating in Tapovan Express at CST. The force decided to make women’s safety a top priority. Nearly 200 personnel from Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) will join personnel in escorting ladies coaches on local trains at night. At present, GRP and home guards escort coaches on rakes between 8.30pm-6.30am. Flash-checking (thorough checks of rakes randomly during the day) by 100 constables and headed by an assistant police commissioner has begun. The state GRP also encourages commuters to tweet complaints to its handle @maharailways which was launched in March.

* New state-wide security helpline to be launched by next month for railway commuters | 1512
* Will replace Mumbai GRP helpline (9833331111) and other railway security helplines in Maharashtra
* Unique advantage of capturing a caller’s location (if location enabled on cellphone) and relaying it to nearest GRP outpost
* Help will be sent at next halt of train
* Job-sheet will be maintained for each call and log won’t be closed unless satisfactory response is received from commuter
* Commuters can tweet security-related complaints to state GRP’s handle @maharailways
* RPF nationwide helpline 182 will continue