Jul 19, 2013

Eyewash: 42 CCTV cameras yet to be installed at railway station

The busiest entry point at Pune Railway station is unmanned.
While Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) claim that security at the Pune Station has been stepped up in the wake of the Bodhgaya terror attack, a visit to the station reveals that these claims are not substantiated. Security bunkers have been raised at two entry points. But at least 10 to 12 entry points, including the most busy ones, remain unmanned. While railway officials maintain that securing the station was GRP's responsibility, the latter blame the Railway Administration for lack of interest in setting up the security apparatus. Also Railways' plan to install 42 new CCTV cameras at the station remains on the drawing board.

Following the Bodhgaya blasts, the GRP set up three police bunkers, one each at the main entrance, GRP station and Accounts Office Gate. The last one was dismantled. Similarly, though the entry points at the Comesum restaurant and Krishna restaurant have been plugged, several others remain open, especially the ramp next to the reservation center which is among the busiest.

The escalator is devoid of a jammer or police guard. Similarly the entrance at the reservation centre, current booking counters, parcel office, the one close to Maldhakka, the Tadiwala Road entrance, an entry point at Central Cabin, several entry points close to Alankar Bridge and the one at Loco Shed remain unmanned and can be used as easy access points by anti-social elements.

Similarly, the improved CCTV surveillance system planned for Pune station is nowhere in sight. Under the programme, the station is supposed to get 46 advanced CCTV cameras which will have better image and prove instrumental in improving vigilance at the station.

According to Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group, this lack of seriousness and blame game among different agencies may result in passengers losing their lives.

" The GRP and RPF put on a show of strength but the station remains vulnerable to terror threats. There are so many entry points and the railways has taken no initiative to plug them. Also GRP and RPF are least bothered about security. Ideally, all unauthorised hawkers and beggars should be thrown out of the station. Also parking bays close to the station should be shifted to a safe distance. However, despite threat of a terror attack, railway officials remain dangerously complacent," said Shah.

Abhay Parmar, newly appointed as senior police inspector, GRP , said that there were several unsecured entry points which are a big threat for security.

"We don't have enough staff to appoint policemen at each and every entrance. Like us the RPF is also short staffed. We have requested the railway administration to construct a compound wall or fence to stop unauthorised entry into the station. Surprisingly, they have shown no interest. The police bunkers at the main entrances were set up by GRP and te railway provided us no help. The railways' negative approach is a big concern," said Parmar.
Source  indian express

Kharge reviews performance of railway PSUs

Reviewing the performance of PSUs of the national transporter, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge today ask these subsidiaries to firm up action plans for better result.

Seven PSUs - Konkan Railway, Railtel, Mumbai Rail Corporation Limited, Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Burn Standard, Bharat Wagon Engineering Limited and Braithwaite Limited - presented their detailed work reports to Kharge in a series of meetings held at Rail Bhawan, officials said.

"It was a power-point presentation by the PSUs to get the Railway Minister acquainted with the functioning of these units...He suggested better utilisation of resources and improvement of performances," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Meanwhile, aiming at accelerating infrastructure development, the PMO has convened a high-level meeting here later this week to review progress of certain crucial rail projects such as Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, Madhepura and Marhora locomotive projects and Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor Project.

The first meeting of the Steering Group to accelerate infrastructure investment will be held on July 19 and it will be chaired by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
Source deccanherald

Part of railway projects to fall under MNREGA

New Delhi: The rural development ministry is learnt to have agreed to notify some works connected with the railways like afforestation and construction of approach road for crossings under its ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is understood to have agreed to bring works such as construction of embankments, developing waterways, constructing pathways, clearing vegetational growth, afforestation and construction of approach roads for railway crossings under MNREGA.

Indian Railways to join hands with MNREGA. AFP

Ramesh today discussed the issue of convergence of schemes with Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

Kharge had requested Ramesh to resolve the stiff conditions that prevents application of the rural job scheme in executing railway infrastructure development projects.

Ramesh has already made it clear that no mechanical work like maintenance of railway track could be included in the job scheme.

During his tenure as railway minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal had said deployment of rural population in schemes under MNREGA was quite similar to the requirements of railways for such specified works.

The railway ministry had sought cooperation of the rural development ministry on a number of railway projects that require unskilled labour force.

The ministry had suggested that these works can be undertaken in remote rural areas under MNREGA.

Indian Railways, with a huge network spread across the country, traverses through thousands of kilometres of rural and backward areas.
Source  first post





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