Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Security helpline for train passengers in the offing

A nationwide railway helpline number — 135— to help passengers seeking security assistance during train journeys is in the offing.
The All-India Passenger Security Helpline can be used all over the country round-the-clock.
“All necessary preparations for launching the helpline for security assistance are being made to launch the first of its kind all-India service,” a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project said.
The helpline will be managed by the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
“There will be a control room near the Daya Basti here to receive complaints round-the-clock. The control room building is ready now,” said the official, adding “a passenger can make any security-related complaint using the number.”
RPF will provide necessary training to about 250 staff for the call centre job. “There will be about 30 RPF personnel deployed at the control room to receive the complaints and do the needful,” the official said.
Networking of all RPF units and other modalities are being worked out to launch the helpline.
“Networking of security control rooms and important posts has been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 4.41 crore for speedy collection and dissemination of crime related information,” he said.
Noting that railways is becoming a soft target of sabotage and terrorism, the official said, “Security of passengers is of paramount importance for railways and we would like all passengers to travel fearlessly“.
Railways also plans to amend railway property law to empower RPF in dealing with passenger-related offences.
Necessary amendments in the Railway Property (unlawful possession) Act to further empower RPF officers to conduct inquiry on receipt of information and widen the ambit of its penal sections has been passed in the Rajya Sabha and now it will be sent to Lok Sabha for consideration.
“The amendments will empower the RPF to deal with passenger-related offences,” he said, adding “RPF will have to play a vital role in coordination with other police forces and intelligence agencies to deter disruptive elements and ensure smooth, safe and secure movement of railways as well as passengers.”


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