Trichy: The airport-like security system proposed to be introduced in railway stations has drawn flak from passengers while railway officials have termed it impractical. Passengers and their association dubbed it a waste of money and one which would only serve to create confusion.
According to the Railway Protection Force, more than 200 stations across India will have airport-like security, with passengers and visitors going through checks before accessing platforms. Once implemented, passengers will have to reach the station well in advance. Body and baggage checks will be conducted before getting access to platforms. The number of entry and exit points would be restricted and all of them will be monitored. A compound wall will be built around the entire station.Officials pointed out that Trichy railway junction handled almost 50,000 passengers a day and more than 50 trains including four express trains operated from or passed through the station which had seven access points. “One reason why high-end commuters prefer train travel to air travel is the time they save while boarding a train. One can take a ticket and get into a train in a flash, even within five minutes of the train departing and railway stations are inside the city too. The introduction of airport-like security will force these consumers to look for other modes of travel,” said S Pushpavanam, secretary of Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu. “Adequate security can be provided by the existing ŔPF systems. This will only serve to harass the ordinary commuters,” he added.
“This security system will be only be at railway stations and not on hundreds of trains passing through the station. So, how is the security going to be foolproof,” asked V B Jaganath of Trichy Intra-City Development Endeavors (TIDES).
Divisional railway manager of Trichy division, U K Reddy, pointed out that in the case of airports, all four sides were bordered and entry and exit points monitored. “With the railway tracks going all around the country, how can you stop people from getting into the coach or the platforms through them and skipping the checking? We can only stop the people who are coming to the station through the proper way with luggage and screen them,” said he.
Reddy pointed out that there were running rooms a little away from the junction, second entrance on Kallukuzhi side and staff quarters on the same side at Trichy junction. “Though we don’t have any list of stations, most probably Trichy will be included in the list”, the DRM added.