A passenger was seen moving up and down the Gautami Express observing the security arrangements in the bogies. He was also seen interacting with security personnel between Eluru and Vijayawada stations.
He was none-other than Vijayawada District Superintendent of Railway Police Ch. Syam Prasad. Mr. Prasad, who was in mufti, walked into the Railway Police Station and the Sub-Control Room on Platform No.9 in Vijayawada, enquired about the staff on duty.
When the staff came to know who the surprise visitor was, they went into jitters. It took some time for them to recover from the shock and furnish the information to their ‘boss’.
“On Saturday night, I visited Donakonda Railway Police Station at 1 a.m. and verified the duty register. I saw a head constable and two constables performing their duty sincerely at the station. I appreciated them and gave them Rs.500 cash award each”, Mr. Syam Prasad told The Hindu on Sunday. The affable officer said that such rewards and appreciation would help improve the morale of the staff in the long run. Mr. Prasad, during his surprise visits also saw dereliction of duty by some of his subordinates. While checking in Express trains - Falaknuma, Visakha and Konark Express during odd hours, he found one head constable, four constables and two home guards, taking a nap. He suspended them and repatriated them to the parental department.
“Our aim is to give fool-proof security to passengers on platforms and on trains. There were allegations that some GRP staff hatch up with pickpockets and robbers. We will not hesitate to book theft cases against the GRP staff, that join hands with anti-social elements,” the SRP warned. Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy, who boarded Gautami Express at Nidadavole on Saturday night, observed the alert railway constables on and off the trains along the stations and appreciated the ‘visible policing’ which, he felt would help prevent entry of robbers.
“We request the Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) and the attendants in A/C coaches to follow precautions like closing the doors of coaches, prevent unreserved passengers in reserved bogies, ,” said Mr. Syam Prasad.