Measures taken by Railways for safety and security of passangers
Safety on Indian Railways is an ongoing and continuous process. Safety in train operations is achieved through comprehensive and multi-pronged exercises encompassing all aspects of railway operations. Since safety is accorded highest priority, constant endeavours are made to prevent accidents and to enhance safety in train operations.
The Ministry of Railways has taken several steps for improving the passenger safety and passenger amenities in the train services across the country. Some of these are given below:
(i) Proliferation of Linke Hoffman Busche (LHB) coaches: A policy decision has been taken to manufacture only LHB type coaches from 2018-19 onwards as these coaches are based on new technology and are of superior design in comparison to the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) type coaches.
(ii) Retrofitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) on Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches: A policy decision has been taken to retrofit CBC on ICF coaches in a phased manner. The inherent anti-climbing feature of CBC will mitigate the chance of overriding of coaches one over the other during accidents.
(iii) Improving Fire Retardancy in coaches: Coaches are being provided with fire retardant furnishing materials. The specifications of these materials are being upgraded from time to time.
(iv) Provision of Fire Extinguishers: Dry chemical powder type fire extinguishers are being provided in all mainline trains. Besides, Automatic Fire and Smoke Detection System have been provided in about 200 coaches.
(v) Provision of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system in coaches on a pilot basis for improving the passenger safety, without compromising on their privacy.
Further, improvement of passenger amenities in trains is a continual process. In this regard, some of the instructions issued by the Ministry of Railways in the recent past are with regard to the provision of cushioned seats in the unreserved coaches, provision of snack table, magazine bags and bottle holders in Sleeper Class coaches, provision of Braille signage in coaches to facilitate the visually impaired passengers, provision of dustbins in Non-Air Conditioned coaches as in the Air conditioned coaches, provision of ladder arrangement in the First AC coaches for climbing on the upper berth etc.
Prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP). However, Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of the GRP by providing better protection and security of passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith. RPF escorts important trains in affected areas and also provide access control duties at important and sensitive stations.
Besides, the following measures are being taken by Railways for safety and security of passengers including women passengers in trains:
(i) An Integrated Security System consisting of surveillance of vulnerable stations through Close Circuit Television Camera Network, Access Control etc. has been sanctioned to improve surveillance mechanism over 202 railway stations.
(ii) Security Help Line number 182 is made operational over Indian Railways for security related assistance to passengers in distress.
(iii) Surveillance is kept through CCTV cameras, provided at about 344 stations including suburban railway stations over Indian Railways, to ensure safety and security of passengers.
(iv) Dog Squads are extensively used at stations/platforms/trains for anti sabotage checks.
(v) Suburban trains are being escorted by RPF/GRP.
(vi) The ladies special trains running in Metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF constables.
(vii) The ladies compartments in suburban trains running in metropolitan cities are being escorted by RPF and GRP. Staff deployment is made during late night and early morning in such trains to ensure proper security to the lady passengers.
(viii) Special teams of lady RPF staff have been formed to act against offenders indulging in crime against women passengers.
(ix) Regular drives are conducted to prevent entry of male passengers in compartments reserved for ladies, and if found, they are prosecuted under the provisions of Railways Act.
(x) RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police at all levels to ensure proper registration and investigation of crime by GRP.
This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 17.03.2017 (Friday).