The cold war between the Railway Police Force (RPF) under the purview of the Indian Railways, and the Government Railway Police (GRP) under the state government, may just come out well for commuters travelling in the city.
Railway authorities feel that installing cameras near baggage scanners may discourage incidents of constables taking bribe. File pic for representation
In order to curb the constant blame game between the two police forces, railway authorities are installing some 1,070 CCTVs at stations that will not only watch you, but also the police personnel manning railway stations. Rail authorities are installing a majority of these CCTV cameras near baggage scanners and railway offices where passengers are at times detained and their luggage is checked by cops.
“We have received complaints from passengers that cops go through their luggage for no apparent reason and they ask for bribes,” said a senior RPF official, under the condition of anonymity. For long, RPF officers have been blaming the GRP staff, while the latter has been accusing the RPF personnel. Baggage checks usually take place at terminuses where long distance trains arrive and depart.
Since the constables could be from both RPF and GRP who allegedly take fines from gullible passengers, rail authorities believe that installing cameras may curtail such incidents. “I have informed every GRP police station that no constable can check the luggage or detain passengers without the presence of a senior GRP official, otherwise we will take action against them,” said Dr Ravinder Singhal, GRP Commissioner.
GRP officials claim that they have also suggested installing more cameras at locations where visibility is usually low. The Western Railway (WR) will soon complete the installation of cameras at stations from Churchgate to Dahanu Road.
“We will complete the installation work in 10 days; the work has already started,” said Anand Vijay Jha, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Mumbai), WR. Authorities have also planned to install cameras at railway platforms, yards and workshops to keep check on menace.
Accessing control room
Railway authorities have clearly stated that the control room of these CCTV cameras is accessible for everyone, including the common man. The GRP and RPF have long been squabbling over the CCTV footage for incidents like accidents, thefts, etc.
However, senior RPF officials have stated that any passenger who might have lost his/her valuables can go straight to the control room, and after providing precise details about the lost valuable like time and railway station name can check the footage. In order to acquire a copy of the footage, only a written application will be required.