South Western Railways has issued a clarification seeking to downplay recent media reports that railway stations would soon have airport-style security checks, which would see railway stations sealed 20 minutes before the departure of a train.
The security plan is already being tested on a pilot-basis and is reportedly going to be scaled up to include a further 202 railway stations across the country. But South Western Railways, which has executed an 'Access Control' security plan in Hubballi Railway station clarified that the station was not sealed at any point and that the procedure did not take up to 20 minutes."Passengers can show their travel authority and enter the platforms with their IDs. As the authorities can be shown while walking in to the station, there is very minimal time of 10-15 seconds only that is needed for this process," reads the note by E Vijaya, Chief Public Relations Officer, South Western Railway, Hubballi.
In the pilot project, staff of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) were deployed to check the valid authority of persons coming into the platform. Two other staff were deployed at the ends of platforms to prevent entry of people from the railway yard. Boards displaying 'Enter station with valid authority' are displayed for the benefit of passengers and entry and exit points to the station other than the main entrance were closed at night.
The note further claimed that the pilot system had helped authorities avoid cross movement of passengers at entry and exit points and also prevented the entry of unauthorised persons. "Above access control system has resulted in avoiding cross movement of passengers at entry and exit points; preventing entry of unauthorised persons and anti-social elements into the station. This system is being implemented without causing inconvenience to the bona fide passengers, on duty railway employees and others who are working in the railway station," reads the note.