PIL urges strict security measures at rail stations



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre, Central Railway and Western Railway on a public interest litigation (PIL) urging strict security measures at local railway stations in the wake of the 26/11 terror attacks, besides ensuring conducive working conditions for motermen and guards.

The PIL came up for hearing before Justice AM Khanvilkar and Justice Vijaya Tahilramani who asked the respondents to file replies by November 21.

The PIL, filed by Dr Shailesh Sharma, a professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Powai, said that local trains were the lifeline of Mumbai as 52 lakh commuters travelled daily in what is regarded as the biggest rail network in the world. Hence, safety of commuters was of paramount importance.

The petition said that instead of state police, CISF security guards should be posted at all railway stations, on the lines of security provided at airports.

Secondly, motormen and guards work all 365 days in a year without getting weekly offs or holidays, it alleged.

All existing train routes were introduced before Independence and thereafter, no new routes have been set up, thereby bringing lot of pressure on the existing network, the PIL said.

It said that investigation of crimes at railway stations be given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) instead of the state police, as railway was the subject of the union government.

At important stations like CST, Churchgate, Bombay Central, Borivali, Vasai, Virar, Thane, Kalyan and Vashi, National Security Guards (NSG) commandos should be posted permanently, the PIL prayed.

Besides, there should be fire extinguishers in every compartment and the railways should introduce special coaches for children as well as senior citizens, the PIL said.

PTI