Indian Railways are planning to seal railway stations for security checks, like at airports. The passengers are advised to arrive 15 to 20 minutes earlier than their train’s departure time to avoid missing their trains.
Arun Kumar, the Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF,) said, “The plan is to seal the railway stations. It is primarily about identifying openings and to determine how many can be closed. There are areas which will be closed through permanent boundary walls, others will be manned by RPF personnel and yet others will have collapsible gates.” In addition, he said, “At each entry point, there will be random security checks. However, unlike at airports, passengers need not come hours in advance, but just 15-20 minutes ahead of their departure times to ensure that they are not delayed because of the security process.”
The measures are being taken as a part of the Integrated Security System (ISS,) approved in 2016. The ISS includes the setting up of CCTV cameras, bomb detectors, access control and personal and baggage screening systems. The security checks for the baggage and passengers will start from the entry point till the passengers board their trains. In addition, the ISS project will have real time face recognition software, which will help the RPF personnel to recognise any known criminals.
The ISS plan was approved for 202 railway stations and is already implemented at the Prayagraj (Allahabad) Station in Uttar Pradesh and the Hubli Station in Karnataka. Approximately Rs. 385.06 crores will be spent on the ISS.
Arun Kumar said, “The security plan envisages a layered security check where passengers will be scrutinised even before they enter the station premises to ease the pressure at stations during peak hours.”
According to Mr. Kumar, the technology will reduce the deployment of security personnel at the stations. He said “If we are inventing (sic.) in technology, then manpower requirement will reduce.”
The ISS project, a step toward the development of the Indian Railways, will strengthen the surveillance mechanism and enhance the security system of the railways.