Diwali 2019: Western Railway asks firecracker stalls to stay 150 metres away from tracks

Updated: Oct 27, 2019, 16:05 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The Western Railway is focusing on certain areas to ensure passenger safety

Pics/Rajendra B Aklekar
Pics/Rajendra B Aklekar

With the onset of festive fervour and Diwali celebrations, the Western Railway has taken up key areas of focus as travelling commuter crowds increase with a concern of safe travel and security along the railway line.

According to Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the WR has equipped its Pantry Car coaches with 5 to 8 fire extinguishers and each of these fire extinguishers are placed at conspicuous places such as kitchen entry area, at counter place and near manager’s cabin, for immediate use in case of emergency.

Also, each Pantry Car staff is required to possess a fire-fighting certificate that shows he has the knowledge of extinguishing fire. In case of parcel traffic, proper stacking and timely removal of all parcels from station premises are ensured to avoid an accumulation of packages at platforms and to allow free and safe movement of passengers at all times.

wrA security personnel examines a compartment of a train

Similarly, it is also ensured that the petrol tanks of motorcycles and scooters loaded in trains are empty   and the fuel pipe connecting the tank with the engine is disconnected. Another major initiative is sensitization & awareness programmes to passengers against carrying inflammable articles in train or station premises, which can either damage to the railway property or endanger the safety of fellow passengers.

The carrying of inflammable items including firework is a punishable offence U/S 164 Railways Act, with three years of imprisonment. Lighting fireworks near the track or on the train is also an offence which can endanger the lives of innocent passengers & public, loss of National assets and also affect the environment. Proper awareness programs among the public through PA system, Loudhailers, media coverage, nukkad natak etc are organized to create awareness among the public.

Also, RPF along with Special Intelligence Branches and Crime Intelligence Branches have been instructed to ensure the firework shops should not be installed or any sale within the limits of 150 metres, or near the railway track. Daily basis, surprise checking are conducted by RPF in the coordination of GRP and City Police. Severe punishment can be levied on the person who are found or proved to have been involved in such activity.

Passengers are also requested to be vigilant and to report any unclaimed article or suspected items found or seen in railway premises or in trains which may be reported to uniformed personnel/railway employees or through toll-free helpline no. 182 / 1512.

WRSecurity personnel examine a passenger's baggage

Bhakar further stated that the security of passengers is their top-most priority. In this direction, Western Railway has deployed 1150 RPF and 550 MSF over the railway lines including the suburban area for safety, security, crowd control and mobilization of passengers in coordination with GRP and City Police. Quick Response Team (QRTs) have been deployed during peak hours to resort in action at any distress call on a daily basis. 29 dogs, 44 DFMDs, 11 baggage scanners, 4 biometric token machine, 1533 CCTV cameras are installed at important stations along the railway and utilized for frisking of passengers and their luggage to identify the violators.

All the divisions of Western Railway are fully equipped with Bomb Detection and Disposal Equipment for prevention, detection & disposal and their utilization is intensified during such occasions. The BDD squads with Dog squad are ensuring special checks of Bomb & explosives and inflammable items and ensuring the safety & security of passengers.

About 152 trains are escorted daily by armed RPF over Western Railway. Time to time review of train escorting is done. Surprise checking of escorts is conducted by the superior and subordinate officers. About 110 Mail/Express trains are being escorted by GRP over Western Railway. All RPF staff have been sensitized to be vigilant and to keep watch on suspicious persons trying to befriend with passengers or group of passengers, in order to avoid drugging incidents to passengers.

Meanwhile, during this festive season, Western Railway is running 378 services of about 58 special trains to various destinations in order to clear the extra rush. In order to ensure smooth functioning and to curb malpractices, especially in unreserved coaches, to detect fraud in UTS and printed card tickets, special drives are being conducted from September 1 to October 31, 2019.

Surprise inspections are also conducted by the Officers and Commercial Inspectors at all stations including suburban stations to check for any irregularity or malpractice. Similarly, a Special ticketless checking drive is also being conducted in coordination with the Commercial department to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons and anti-social elements.  Senior officials have been deployed for monitoring and supervision of checking staff.

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