Thiruvananthapuram: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will launch this year’s special security scheme for Sabarimala on Friday.
Additional units of RPF personnel will be deployed at various railway stations, including Chengannur, Kottayam, Thiruvalla, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Thiruvananthapuram Central.
According to sources from the department, the additional force will be utilized to strengthen train escort, patrolling on trains and platforms, run helpdesks at major railway stations, etc. The service of the Crime Prevention and Detection Squad (CPDS) formed to provide security to commuters, check subversive activities and crimes on trains and railway premises will also be utilized.
“This year, the total strength of the force for pilgrim season has been increased. We will have at least 50 personnel apart from five senior officers from each section in Madras, Palakkad, Trichy, Madurai and Salem. Extra force will be deployed in Kottayam and Chengannur where the passenger turnout will be higher. A pilgrim assistance booth, which will help pilgrims and arrange additional security for VIPs and VVIPs, will be set up at Chengannur railway station premises,” said a senior officer from the department.
The Kottayam and Chengannur railway stations will come under temporary camera surveillance. Extra care will be taken to ensure that passengers do not transport or use stove, gas cylinders and other inflammable articles on trains or carry them on the premises of railway stations
Service of bomb squad and dog squad and quick reaction team of RPF will also be utilized for the purpose. The special team will be led by the commandant and assistant commandant of RPF, Thiruvananthapuram division.