To perpetuate Chennai Central blast victim Swathi Parchuri’s memory, the Southern Railway has decided to mark the first working day of May every year as “Swathi Day”.
Besides inspiring the railmen in the region to re-dedicate themselves to the cause of passenger security, the day would also see a wholesome review of the security apparatus from the top to the bottom, Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Mishra said here on Monday.
He was commending sections involved in the relief and rescue after the blast in the Bangalore-Guwahati Express on May 1. Terming the dastardly incident “a cowardly act of mischief”, Mr. Mishra said the Southern Railway decided that Swathi’s life “must not be allowed to be lost in vain.”
To be more purposeful, railway personnel in the region would conduct security related sensitisation seminars for all frontline staff to bolster the vigil. In co-opting passengers’ endeavour to be alert citizens, the Southern Railway hoped that those “kind of incidents would be minimised”, Mr. Mishra noted.
Acknowledging the State government’s support in tackling the situation, he said the Southern Railway was working with the security agencies to solve the blasts case and to make rail travel safer.
Claiming that it was quite a task indeed to ensure the safety of the estimated 2.20 lakh commuters and passengers who use the junction every day, Mr. Mishra, said the Southern Railway would ensure passengers’ safety by enhancing the security apparatus. He pointed to the CCTV footage that provided vital clues to the investigators in their continuing bid to reach the perpetrators. Now, a total of 14 stations in the zone have been brought under CCTV surveillance.
The Southern Railway on Monday honoured sections of railway personnel and others in recognition of their valuable contribution in the relief and rescue operations immediately after the blasts with cash rewards. They included traffic, commercial, medical wings as also Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police personnel and non-railway groups such as porters and battery car operators.
Mr. Mishra commended the efforts of the personnel of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital that saved the lives of the critically injured. He also praised the valiant and selfless efforts of those involved in the relief operations.
A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Swathi on Platform No 8.