Indian Railways Set To Get More Passenger Friendly, Finally!

Indian railway station
Image used for representation only.

 

The railway ministry constituted a committee in early 2009 to increase security in 202 railway stations, identified at sensitive, under their integrated security scheme.

In an official tweet, Minister of Railways and Coal, Government of India, Piyush Goyal said, “Soon, 200 Railway Stations across the country will have airport-like security, with body and bag scans prior to entering the platform and the introduction of a Real Time Face Recognition Software to assist security personnel.”

Reports also suggest that due to high level of security, “passengers would be required to arrive 20 minutes before the departure time, so that proper security checks can be implemented.

“It if finally, a relief that the Indian Railways are coming up with comprehensive plans to upgrade their on-ground security level across stations,” shares Alekh, a city- based automobile merchant.

“Given the huge number of footfalls, it is difficult to ensure proper surveillance with only security personnel.

Incorporating the technological upgrades into the central system with help reduce the stress on the manpower that could be deployed for ensuring security inside the trains and coaches.

There have been multiple incidences of theft, harassment by drunk people onboard, eye teasing etc that weren’t controlled on the spot due to lack of police personnel. Theses initiates will help curb the increasing menace and make rail travel much safer for all class travellers.”

“Last moment reservations and getting a seat reserved during the festival or holidays season is mostly unpredictable even if you book tickets a month or two prior to travelling.

People are left with no choice to travel via air and pay hiked prices during emergencies or when you have a waiting for the AC class. The provision to provide reserved seats against availability on cancellation in moving trains will be a relief. But the entire process needs to be planned property.

Most of the time the TTEs have the privilege of selling available tickets for some extra cash which will negate the entire purpose of the initiative.

People need to be vigilant and understanding enough to stop such instances cropping up,” says Mukta Mahato, a business woman and a regular commuter.

“Delays in the schedules timings and inefficiency to respond to the passenger queries on their toll-free numbers is a current drawback in the system,” Mukesh Parmar, a civil service student.

“Most of the time, calls remain unattended, specially in smaller stations rendering the passengers confused on the current timings of the trains.

However, various online tracking applications have eased this problem and an efficient time management and public grievance redressal system must be in place,” Parmar adds.

Initiatives Announced:

202 sensitive stations have been identified for integrated security system (ISS).
983 stations will be brought under closed circuit television (CCTV) camera cover.
A 3000 KM railway boundary wall has been sanctioned to completely close unnecessary entry points across stations that are not much used or can lead to trespassing.
Door frame metal detector, hand-held metal detector, automatic vehicle scanner, body and bag scans, real time face recognition software to be deployed.
Random security checking at certain intervals.
Making over 2000 more stations across the country Wifi enabled.
Single helpline number for registering non-security related complaints of passengers.
Printed menu with prices and bills for sale of food items.
Redevelopment of 68 railway stations.
Access to brightly lit, bio-vacuum fitted toilets with water supply.
Rationalization of dynamic pricing (flexi-fares) in trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto reducing the prices of the tickets.
Tickets for cancellation will be available in the moving train and a passenger on waiting list will get the ticket immediately after the seat is vacant.
Installation of solar panels on the rooftops of general coaches in the intercity trains of Northern and Southern Railways.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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