The South Central Railway’s (SCR) much boasted Integrated Security System Project that was proposed to beef up security at important stations is yet to be implemented in full scale.
Under the project, authorities had planned installation of CCTV cameras, baggage scanners, under-vehicle scanners and other security equipment at Secunderabad, Tirupati and Hyderabad railway stations in 2010. There were plans to install three baggage scanners at Secunderabad and two each at Hyderabad and Tirupati railway stations. Except for installation of CCTV cameras at Secunderabad, Kacheguda, Tirupati and Hyderabad stations, rest of the security equipment have not yet been installed in these stations. The Railway Board had sanctioned over Rs. 6 crore to SCR for the project.
Deadlines never met
For Secunderabad railway station, it was proposed to have two baggage scanners at the main entrance and another one at the Bhoiguda side. Vehicle scanners were also proposed on the way leading to the main portico of the station. Though steps were initiated for installing baggage and under-vehicle scanners by September 2011, even they got delayed due to technical reasons. Another deadline was set for December 31, 2011 which too was not met. Similar plans were made for Hyderabad railway station as well. Besides scanners, there were plans to procure one mobile baggage scanner for a random check of passengers’ luggage.
An exclusive bomb detection squad with a team of 10 persons was also planned for important stations. This team was to be supplied with 28 security equipment like bomb blankets, metal detectors etc and imparted special training , but the idea remained confined to paper. Everyday about 1.50 lakh passengers travel to different destinations from Secunderabad railway station. In the event of any disaster, there are no Quick Response Teams at important railway stations to handle disaster management. The same was brought to the notice of higher authorities at a security review meeting held in Secunderabad Divisional Railway Manager’s office on Friday, an official said.
This apart, Intelligence Bureau officials, who observed the CCTV footage at Secunderabad station on Friday, wanted the storage capacity to be increased. Presently, the 46 cameras provide footage of past three days and they wanted the capacity to be increased to at least one week, he said.
Meanwhile, the railway police conducted a security awareness programme for auto drivers, taxi drivers, canteen staff and parking lot owners at Secunderabad railway station on Saturday. In case of any suspicion, the railway police authorities said passengers and others could call on the 24-hour GRP control room numbers: 94407-00040 / 94409-04873.