Why thieves can scan your luggage at LTT

Sep 21, 2013, 01:03 IST | Vedika Chaubey

In what is almost an invitation to criminals, the computer screens connected to baggage scanners inside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus give the passing public full view of the contents of passengers' bags, as they are being passed through the machines

Passing through Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) to catch a train? The safety of your luggage could be at stake, ironically because of the baggage scanners installed inside the premises. The computers connected to the baggage scanners have been placed injudiciously, allowing all and sundry to get a good glimpse of all the contents of your baggage when it is being scanned.

Look out! Screens attached to the luggage scanners are not shielded from passengers allowing them to observe the contents of the passengers’ luggage. Pics/Sameer Sayed Abedi

LTT’s new building was thrown open to passengers on August 15, months after its inauguration in April by Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Since its inception, the poor planning inside the building premises has drawn flak from passengers -- amenities like the bookshop and drug store have been left behind in the old building, causing inconvenience to passengers and huge losses to shopkeepers.

Now, the placement of screens connected to baggage scanners has been causing uneasiness to passengers, exposing the contents of their luggage to the passers-by.

The new LTT building has three spanking new baggage scanners, which cost Rs 30.58 lakh each.

The officials, however, have placed them at ill-chosen spots, from where the screens are exposed to the view of potential thieves, who can get a good look at the valuables carried in the bags that pass through the scanners.

“This is a serious issue and we have observed this and also talked about it. We have also seen people just stare at the computer screen from outside, and so we have turned one of the computers to make it face the ticket counter side,” said a railway official from LTT. He admitted though, that this measure is anything but foolproof, as anybody can observe the screen from the ticket window side.

The solution to the problem is quite a no-brainer. All the authorities have to do is place screens to shield the computers from prying eyes.

While thefts are common and frequent on railway stations, the ill-placed scanners are almost an invitation to criminals to continue stealing from passengers. 

After the 26/11 attacks, the railway board installed baggage scanners at all important railway stations in the city. Under the Integrated Security System, all railway stations should have foolproof security systems. Hi-tech doorframe metal detectors, CCTV cameras and the bigger baggage scanners were installed to help authorities nab explosives carried into the station premises, hidden in luggage.

Atul Rane, chief PRO for Central Railways, said, “We are in the process of installing these scanners and will take care of the inadequacies.” 

57 pairs
The number of trains that arrive and depart on an average, every day from LTT

1.5 lakh
Number of passengers who use the station every day, on an average

Rs 30.58 lakh
The cost of each luggage scanner placed inside the new LTT building 

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