PALAKKAD: Safety is given a serious thought often at the cost of precious lives. The call for protecting rail commuters got louder after the gruesome rape and murder of 23-year-old Soumya six years ago. Now, here is good news for those travelling alone by train. Help is just a tap away as the Railways is all set to launch a one-touch solution mobile app. All it needs is a tap on the icon to summon security personnel when there is an emergency.
“At present, a passenger has to dial 182 to alert the Railway Protection Force (RPF),” said Chokka Raghuveer, Palakkad Divisional Security Commissioner and one of the masterminds of the mobile app. “But many a commuter is unaware of this facility.
Therefore, this app will act as a handy tool for instant alert. It will automatically alert 182 and provide details like the location of the passenger, the train and coach numbers as well as the mobile phone number. The control room will immediately contact the passenger and alert the RPF personnel at the nearest station or the officers in the train,” he said.
This feature is part of strengthening the surveillance mechanism of the Railways to ensure the security of passengers. The app will not be limited to suburban trains alone, he said. The Eastern Railway has already implemented its R-Mitra (Railway Mobile Instant Tracking Response and Assistance service) in Howrah and Sealdah divisions to cater to suburban commuters of Kolkata, said an officer.
As part of boosting security, the young officer is also in the process of developing a stand-alone CCTV to rein in those placing boulders on tracks and pelting stones at trains. “If the troubled spot is in the isolated and densely wooded Kanjikode-Walayar section of Kerala, a CCTV can be installed and made to function using solar power. The footage of the visuals will be relayed to the control room,” said Chokka.
Usually, when stone pelting is reported, the security personnel reach the spot after half an hour. By the time the culprits would have disappeared. If the footage is available, it will help the police nab the miscreants, he said.