Security chinks at city railway station

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Bhubaneswar: At a time when almost all the major railway stations in the country have been maintaining tight security following 26/11 terror attack at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Bhubaneswar railway station authorities are yet to wake up from their slumber as many access points to the railway station are left open without security checks.
A closer look on the security aspect of the city railway station revealed that there are at least three surveillance-free entry points which may spell disaster for the huge facility.
A baggage scanner has been installed at Master Canteen side entrance. However, Orissa POST found that one can bypass the security check and gain access to the railway station by using the Food Plaza Restaurant entrance. Although this entry point is under CCTV surveillance, the lapses were visible at Master Canteen side, especially during the daytime.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) inspector, NP Patnaik, however, told
Orissa POST that the restaurant had been asked to allow customers with zero baggage only to use the entrance.
“We had instructed the restaurant authorities not to allow any customer with a bag to use the entrance through the restaurant. Passengers with luggage have to go through the scanner at the main entrance at Master Canteen side and can enter the restaurant through the entrance at Platform No. 1. Moreover, we are also monitoring all the CCTV visuals 24X7,” said the RPF inspector.
Contrary to the claim by RPF inspector, this reporter had entered Platform No. 1 with a bag through the restaurant entrance (Friday, between 12.45-1pm) and found many customers with luggage were using the same entry point. Had there been monitoring of CCTV visuals, immediate action would have followed. Similarly, the Cuttack Road side entry point via Platform No. 6 remains unchecked all the time. There is heavy rush at this entrance as it is often unmanned by security persons or ticket examiners. Although this entrance is under CCTV surveillance, the railway station also offers another unchecked entry point (entry point 2) at Cuttack Road side near the railway overbridge.
“This entry point is strictly for railway officials and other staffers and not for the public. Many officials use this entry point since it is close to the staff quarters,” added Patnaik.
Although begging is banned inside the railway station, beggars were seen entering Platform No. 6 through this unchecked Cuttack Road side entry point near to the overbridge.
The Indian Railways’ website clearly says that Government Railway Police (GRP) is generally responsible for detection and prevention of crime while the RPF is primarily entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the railway property, passenger area and the passengers as well. Unfortunately, RPF Bhubaneswar office is located outside Platform No.6 and is technically far away from the railway station.
Inspector-in-charge of GRP, Saubhagya K Swain, said, “The GRP and RPF are equally responsible for ensuring the safety of the railway station. Our office is there on the Master Canteen side while that of the RPF is on the Cuttack Road side.”
However, if any untoward incident happens at Mater Canteen side, it will take time for the RPF to handle the situation as the office is located at Cuttack Road side.
Similarly, if a security breach occurs at Cuttack side entrance, both GRP and RPF would have to depend on CCTVs at this location.

Source: OrissaPost

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