Secunderabad (SC): Indian Railways plays a vital role in smooth conduct of General Elections by way of moving the security personnel for election duty across the length and breadth of the country. As per the indication of Election Commission and Ministry of Home Affairs, about 80,000 para military force personnel need to be transported by Rail, which requires about 1200 coaches for running of around 60 special trains. In addition, special coaches will also be attached extra on regular trains and some of the existing coaches will be earmarked on various trains for exclusive occupation of forces.
For the ensuing General Elections in the months of April – May, 2014, SCR is in readiness to handle large scale movement of Para military forces by trains on and across the Zone. Officers and staff from Operating, Mechanical and Electrical departments have been nominated to function as nodal officers at Zonal and Divisional levels to closely monitor the movement of the election special trains. Requisite arrangements for providing catering services to the personnel from various security forces on these special trains have also been made in association with Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation(IRCTC).
South Central Railway has earmarked 63 coaches exclusively for operating election specials. These are grouped into three rakes of 21 coaches each with Sleeper and AC class accommodation for movement of personnel from Central Police Forces (CPF), State Armed Police Forces (SAPF) and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) to different destinations. Out of these 3 rakes, one rake has already been pressed into service and the remaining rakes are kept ready at Vijayawada for movement at short notice. The election special trains will be scheduled as per the requirement communicated by the Election Commission and the Ministry of Home Affairs in co-ordination with Railway Board from time to time.
SCR ran the first election special train on 19th March, 2014 from Hyderabad to Coimbatore. This special train carried personnel from Andhra Pradesh Special Armed Police Force from Hyderabad, Warangal and Vijayawada to Tamil Nadu. In addition, seven coaches were earmarked on different trains for movement of personnel from Central Police Forces and Railway Protection Special Force to different areas in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa States.
Several summer special train services have already been announced on SCR to take care of the summer passenger rush in the months of April and May. Election specials will also need to be run during the same period. In this connection, Shri P.K.Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway directed the officials concerned to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to run these special trains smoothly in close co-ordination with various agencies involved in the movement of security personnel on election duty.