For safety of passengers, now RPF personnel to have dedicated berths in premier trains too
CHENNAI: Taking no chances on safety of rail passengers, Railways has earmarked dedicated seats/berths for security personnel in premier trains too.This comes a year after Railways created dedicated berths for onboard government railway police or RPF in regular express trains.
Air-conditioned premier trains such as Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains are having limited stoppages and considered safe compared to regular trains. However, of late, Railways has increased stoppage of these trains as a measure to boost patronage which resulted in tightening the security of the trains with dedicated escorting staff, railway officials said.
According to the Railway Board order issued to Southern Railway last week, one seat in AC Chair car of Shatabdi Express train and one berth in pantry car of Rajdhani Express trains should be earmarked for escorting RPF personnel in these trains.
“It is desired that seat number 1 in Coach C-4 should be earmarked for RPF travelling in Shatabdi trains. In case the seat has been earmarked for ticket checking staff, the same should be shifted to adjacent coach,” the order said.
After a prolonged hesitation, Railway Board had agreed to give a dedicated seat for security staff deployed by RPF. In absence of RPF, the seat will be allotted to government railway police. Official sources said since RPF is facing huge manpower shortage they could not inform the zonal railways well in advance to get the berths booked for police personnel regularly.
“During long distance journeys, police personnel have to depend on travelling ticket examiners to get the berths. In various situations, RPF personnel have to continue their duty for more than 12 hours. When security alerts are issued, RPF will have to cover the train for 24 hours. So, we have asked the Railways to provide dedicated seats for us,” said a senior RPF official.