Despite deployment of personnel and equipment
A visit to the major railways stations here following the blasts in Chennai on Thursday morning revealed various lapses in the security set-up. Though a number of measures have been initiated by way of deployment of personnel and equipment to prevent terror strikes, the Capital’s stations remain as vulnerable as ever.
At each of the New Delhi railway station’s six entry points — three from Ajmeri Gate side and three from Paharganj side — there is a baggage scanner and a metal detector manned by police personnel. A spot visit from the Ajmeri Gate side revealed that the main baggage scanner at platform number 16 was not functional. When the rush was less, security personnel deployed at the gate were seen letting passengers in without frisking. However, they started frisking them once the crowds grew.
The other baggage scanners were functional, but the security personnel seemed lax in checking passengers. Upon entering the station from Paharganj side, the careless attitude of the personnel was once again on display. They simply sat next to the baggage scanners and metal detectors, two of which were out of order.
While there are six designated entry/exit points to the railway station, there are other points of entry and exit too. Another baffling sight was to see the public walking across the tracks from adjacent areas like Tilak Bridge and Shivaji Bridge. No policeman was seen patrolling these open areas.
When asked, the personnel said that it was a tough job to check thousands of passengers each day.
“Thousands of commuters board trains from the New Delhi railway station each day. How much can we check each person? If we start checking thoroughly, passengers start getting impatient and fight over the delay in boarding their train. If people want better security, they need to co-operate with us,” said a personnel deployed at the New Delhi station platform.
The situation was the same at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station.
However, security arrangements at Old Delhi railway station were marginally better. The station has four entry and exit points — two from the Chandni Chowk side and two from the Kashmere Gate side. All baggage scanners and metal detectors were functioning. However, the station does not have walls stretching beyond the platforms — as is the case with the New Delhi station too. Anyone can enter the station premises from nearby localities.
“This station is more vulnerable due to its location, as anyone coming from Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi or nearby areas can enter the premises from the adjoining roads. On an average, we discover three bodies on the tracks each day,” said a police officer deployed at the Old Delhi railway station.