BENGALURU: While there are 71 CCTV cameras at the city railway station, not one of them was working on Thursday, a day before the grenade was found. Following a major alarm raised by top Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, 28 of the CCTV cameras were said to be in working condition on Friday morning. However, when examined after the grenade scare incident, only one camera was functional, a senior railway official said.
This revelation renders a major blow to the entire security apparatus in the station, which was recently upgraded with access control introduced at many points. “This shocking security lapse in a station, which sees an average of 2.25 lakh commuters on a daily basis, is unacceptable and alarming,” the official added.
“The root of the problem is that the specially created unit for upgrading security and passenger flow management at important railway stations - Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) - is entrusted with the maintenance of the all the CCTVs,” a highly placed railway source said. “They have handed over the job to different contractors. This is not the first time the CCTVs are not operational,” the source added. It has been taking place despite written complaints sent to the organisation, he added.
“Poor battery, technical errors or even lack of funds have been cited as reasons for the malfunctioning CCTVs,” another official said. A senior security officer said, “Though the grenade has been diffused now, the real issue is that someone had been transporting it or deliberately placed it there. If we had any recorded footage of the incident, it would have given some lead about the person or the motive. But now, we have no evidence.”
The officer added that railway security agencies need to be given the task of managing the CCTV apparatus. “Leaving it to some private contractor, who might share or delete sensitive footage, is dangerous. Had there been a major tragedy (due to the grenade), then the lack of footage could have become a grave issue,” the officer added. Sridhar Vedula, General Manager, South Region of IRSDC, did not respond to numerous calls.