New Delhi: In a clear indictment of Indian Railways, the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report, which was tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday, has highlighted the poor security apparatus manning the biggest transport network in the country.

Bringing into notice the poor security system at railway stations, railway yards and on board trains, the report has suggested overhauling of the security mechanism.

The report notes that the lack of proper scanning apparatus is presenting an open invitation to terrorists, criminals and anti social elements.

The report has highlighted that the security arrangements at major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah and Chennai is a major concern.

The report highlights that the scanners and metal detectors installed at these stations do not match the international standards.

The crippled condition of the surveillance mechanism can be estimated from the fact that only few railway stations in the country are equipped with CCTV cameras. Ironically, most of them are not installed properly and nobody monitors them properly. While less than adequate number of security personnel is deployed at stations, the dog squads are merely a showpiece.

As per the CAG report, a centralised security system was implemented in 2008 to beef up the security at the railway stations. It was to be implemented at 137 stations by March 2010, but till date not a single zone has adopted the system.  CAG has surveyed 74 railways stations, where the country’s top auditing body found the security situation out of guard.

Similar is the situation as far as safety of passengers in trains is concerned. The CAG report revealed that security guards are deployed on only one third of the total trains run by the Indian Railways.  More surprisingly, trains passing through Naxal affected areas do not have an escort.
It also claimed that the process of reporting crime in trains is lying in a dysfunctional state. Coach attendants do not carry FIR form till date, and it is for this reason that crime on board trains has increased two fold within five years.

Citing examples of planned derailment of Gyaneshwari Express and bomb blasts in Mumbai local trains,  the CAG highlighted the lack of co-ordination between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and General Railway Police (GRP). 

It also criticised the failure of RPF and GRP in preventing tracks from being used as a stage of demonstration.

(JPN/Bureau)