Chennai

Security at MRTS stations to be outsourced

Regulars say that the stations are isolated during non-peak hours.  

Amid complaints of a lack of safety at MRTS stations, the Southern Railway will soon be outsourcing the security of all stations to private agencies.

Manpower shortage has been cited as one of the reasons for this move. There are 18 MRTS stations in the city and out of these 14 are elevated. The Railway Protection Force, Chennai division, has a strength of 1,300 and out of this, 100 are allocated for MRTS security. Besides, the Government Railway Police also deploys one constable per station during peak hours. “The problem is that they are available on the platform and cannot patrol all floors in elevated stations. Sometimes crimes happen on the other floors. Hence, we will be outsourcing security to private companies that have ex-service men on their rolls. We will not be roping in old and frail people”, a senior RPF officer said.

A meeting would be held with the senior officials of the Southern Railway, RPF and GRP, following which tenders would be called for.

CCTVs coming soon

“We are short on staff, hence the private security agencies will be of great help. Besides RailTel is working on installing CCTV cameras that will serve as an deterrence,” added the officer.

S. Amudha, a regular commuter at the Chepauk MRTS station, said that security throughout the day will be a great relief. “People get drunk and sleep on the first floor of the stations. They don’t go to the stations. There are also lot of unused rooms in the stations that are misused by loiterers,” she alleged. Regulars said that stations are very isolated during non-peak hours.

“Most stations lack proper lighting. MRTS is a good mode of transport, but the security has to be improved. Apart from private security, the extra space can rented out,” said M. Muralidharan, another commuter.

(With inputs from V. Harini)

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Printable version | May 4, 2021 11:19:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/security-at-mrts-stations-to-be-outsourced-southern-railway/article27240973.ece

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