Indian Railways passengers, take note! This new security step by Indian Railways means you will have to arrive at the railway station at least 20 minutes before the train’s departure! According to a recent PTI report, Indian Railways is planning to seal railway stations 15-20 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains, in order to complete the process of security checks. This is similar to the process of airports’ security check and boarding system before departures. This means that Indian Railway passengers will now have to arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure of their trains at the railway station, in order to complete the security check and board their trains on time.
Arun Kumar, Director General, Railway Protection Force (RPF) was quoted in the report saying that the security plan with high-end technology has already been implemented at Allahabad, before the Kumbh Mela 2019 which begins this month and at Hubli railway station in Karnataka. Along with this, a blueprint for 202 more railway stations is ready for execution of this system. The plan for sealing the railway stations is to primarily identify the openings and to determine the number of entry points which can be closed. There will be areas which will be closed through permanent and fixed boundary walls, others will be manned by RPF personnel and while few others will have collapsible gates.
According to the report, there will be random security checks at each entry point. However, unlike at airports, passengers need not come hours in advance at the railway station, but just 15-20 minutes ahead of their departure times. This is to ensure that they don’t get late because of the entire security process. The security system will increase at railway stations, but the presence of security personnel will not increase. These steps will be taken as they are a part of the security plan under the Integrated Security System (ISS) which was approved in the year 2016 to strengthen the surveillance mechanism at 202 railway stations across the country.
The Director also added that the ISS will consist of CCTV cameras, access control, personal and baggage screening system, bomb detection and disposal system which together involve multiple checking of passengers and baggage from the point of entry at the railway station till the final boarding of train. The expected cost of the ISS project stands at Rs 385.06 crore. The security plan outlines a layered security check where passengers will go through a security check even before they enter the railway station. This is to ease the pressure in railway stations during the peak hours. The system will also include real-time face recognition software which will alert the RPF command center of any known offenders. With technological support and the ISS project, Indian Railways is steering towards a new-improved and efficient security system at railway stations.