Chennai (MAS): With the initial euphoria over the launch of the metro slowly dying down, the senior police officials are now seriously looking at the safety and security of Chennai Metro Rail, which became operational two weeks ago.
Security arrangements for the Chennai Metro Rail, will in all likelihood, be taken over by the State police with private security guards, who are currently overseeing the security, complementing them for screening baggage.\
The state DGP Ashok Kumar and Chennai city police commissioner S. George on Saturday took a ride on the metro from Koyambedu to Alandur along with a team of senior officers. The officers reportedly held talks with Pankaj Kumar Bansal, managing director of CMRL over safety and security at the stations. At present, CMRL has deployed some private security guards at the newly opened stations.
Police sources said discussions to this effect are at a rudimentary stage, while another senior police official agreeing with this said they were actually discussing what force should be posted at Metro Railway stations.
“It has been made clear that the security at the stations will be taken over by the State police. We have expressed our concern on the current security. We have also pointed out additional security arrangements to be made at some key locations”, he said. A huge project of this magnitude needs fool-proof security system, police sources said. “There should be a dedicated force for the security at Metro Rail stations on the lines of Delhi Metro,” a police officer said. In Delhi, CISF is in charge of the security of the metro rail. In Mumbai, there is a special state industrial security force to handle security of specialised areas.
CMRL officials have informed the State police that CMRL will monitor the CCTV cameras installed in stations exclusively from their control centre with an assurance that they will share footage as and when required by the State police.
The State police chief Ashok Kumar, ADGP L&O TK Rajendran, IGP-Intelligence P Kannappan, and City Police Commissioner, S George, accompanied by Metro Rail officials took a ride on the Metro on Saturday afternoon in order to inspect the security arrangements.
“The ride was primarily to inspect present security arrangements installed by the CMRL”, another top officer observed.
During the inspection, the top cops were walked through the operation of the CMRL between Koyambedu and Alandur stations.
Comparing the proposed security arrangements for CMRL with other metro rail transportation in other cities, the security of Bengaluru Metro Rail is vested with Bengaluru City Police.
The Jaipur Metro Rail security is entrusted with the Rajasthan Police. Delhi Metro Rail security is vested with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and Railway Protection Force (RPF) takes guard in Kolkata Metro Rail.
“We need to create a separate force, headed by an officer at least in the rank of DIG, for the Metro Rail. It should be done on priority basis,” the officer said. The private security personnel are not trained to handle sabotage, defacing or other criminal acts at the stations. “We are not taking about the safety and security inside the railway stations alone. We need to keep a vigil externally as well,” another officer pointed out.