Special security for commuters on WR's Mumbai foot-overbridges

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS): Taking a lesson from the September 29 stampede that claimed 23 lives at Elphinstone Road station here, the Western Railway on Thursday inducted 232 trained security personnel to man 34 critical foot-overbridges and control crowds on the suburban network.

WR General Manager A.K. Gupta told media persons that besides 232 personnel of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC), another 97 women homeguards have also been inducted for ensuring safety, security and well being of the commuters.

Chief spokesperson for WR Ravinder Bhakar said this would be the first time in India that a specially trained force would ensure commuter safety at foot-overbridges, besides circulating areas of passengers at the stations on a permanent basis.

The MSSC personnel would man, control crowds at entry-exits and prevent crimes at 34 foot-overbridges at 22 stations -- Churchgate, Marine Lines, Charni Road, Grant Road, Mumbai Central (local), Elphinstone Road, Dadar, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali, Borivali, Mira Road, Bhayander, Nalasopara and Virar, Gupta added.

The women homeguards would be utilised for queue formations in front of ladies' coaches at Andheri station, and later extended to major stations like Bandra, Borivali and Bhayander, Gupta said.

They will also be deployed with women Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables as "Mahila Quick Response Teams" for assisting distressed women commuters, prevent door-blocking in suburban trains and other duties.

Gupta said that with this induction, the WR's security network had been boosted by 32 per cent, while the women security personnel strength would be nearly doubled from the existing force.

The decision was in tune with the recommendations of a high-level inquiry commission which investigated the September 29 stampede, seeking augmentation of RPF cadres from the existing paltry 980 on the suburban section, for increased safety and security of the nearly four million daily commuters on the WR.

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Title : Special security for commuters on WR's Mumbai foot-overbridges


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