4 years after 26/11, CR to get advanced security system

Jun 04, 2012, 07:16 IST | Shashank Rao

New surveillance system will include technologically superior hand-held and doorframe metal detectors, electronic vapour detectors and vehicle scanners

After 52 people were gunned down inside the CST waiting hall in the deadly 26/11 terror attack, CR authorities have decided to implement the Integrated Security System in a full-fledged manner across suburban railway stations in their jurisdiction.

In the initial period only one electronic vapour detector and explosive disposable unit will be procured and installed at specific stations. Sources said that such superior security mechanisms have never been in use on suburban stations until now.

Out with the old, in with the new: The railway commuter associations complain that the present metal doorframe detectors don’t work and that there is a need for officials to be trained. file pic

“We are looking at installing high-end mechanisms like an explosive disposable unit, electronic vapour detector and vehicle scanners inside and outside railway stations,” said a Railway police officer, on condition of anonymity.

Railway officials explained that due to recent threats of bio-warfare, these equipment were being procured. They are also acquiring more closed circuit cameras (CCTVs), hand held and doorframe metal detectors.

No difference
Railway commuter associations, however, claim that most of the metal detectors, especially doorframe metal detectors, don’t make much of a difference due to the heavy commuter rush.

“Many of these doorframe metal detectors don’t even work while the hand held detectors had to be returned, as they malfunctioned. Also there is a need to train the police force in identifying threat because detectors only indicate a danger,” said Subhash Gupta, member, National Railway Users Consultative Committee.

Tech upgrade
CR authorities, however, claim that these metal detectors will be technologically superior. The official added that these doorframe metal detectors would precisely identify coins, heavy metals and other items due to its advanced technology.

“The security systems will be implemented in the next 9 months,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner (Mumbai), Central Railway.

Security at railway stations across the city has been for long a contentious issue with nearly 70 lakh people commuting daily.

Last month, CR had appointed a private contractor to provide the enhanced security system for their 100-plus stations on the suburban network. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar, Kurla, Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Thane and Kalyan are some of the vital stations, and smaller stations near it, where security would be upgraded.

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