Railway station: Security devices not functioning, entry not restricted

Next time when you visit the Chandigarh Railway Station, look around for security measures. Chances are you will find half-baked ideas and half-hearted attempts in the name of security.

A reality check by Chandigarh Newsline has come as an eye-opener. The entrance of the station is unmanned and unguarded. As one enters the station, the first sign of laxity on part of the authorities is reflected through a non-functional door frame metal detector.

The entrance to the station is unrestricted and easy. Even one need not buy a platform ticket as there is no one to check it . Beggars and destitute are easily found on the platforms.

Moreover, most vulnerable is the entry from Panchkula side which is an extremely deserted patch and can be a easy entry point for anti-social elements. Not only this, the baggage scanner, an important security device, is nowhere to be seen at the entry point. Anyone can easily walk into the station with any restricted object and bags.

Three authorities — Railway Protection Force (RPF), Railway Administration and Government Railway Police (GRP) — are jointly responsible for the safety of passengers.

According to RPF officials, it is the duty of GRP to ensure the door frame metal detectors are working. However, when contacted, GRP officials were clueless about the non-functioning device.

Railway Senior Divisional Security Commissioner Mohinder Singh said, “We will take cognisance of any security lapse. We have properly deployed security on the station and we ensure that there is a proper and consistent check on any anti-social element.”

“The baggage scanner and the metal door were installed at the bigger stations like Delhi. In most of the smaller cities, they are yet to be installed. Chandigarh railway station will also get these facilities in some time,” said Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, P K Sanghi. He was transferred on Friday.

Ashok Kumar, SP (Railways), Ambala Cantt, said, “We have made a proposal that metal detectors should be installed at all the stations in the zone and we are working for its implementation. As for the lack of security personnel, I think we have proper deployment at the station. If we find any lapses, immediate action will be taken.”