BENGALURU: To bolster security across 40 Metro stations in the City, baggage scanning and passenger frisking has been intensified for the past one week. The simulator hand grenade incident at Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station last week is the reason for it, say top security officials. Now, Metro commuters end up waiting for at least 10 additional minutes before entering the station, with the wait getting longer during peak hours.
Unlike terminating stations like Baiyappanahalli, Mysuru Road or Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station, which are constantly packed, one can normally breeze through a station like Cubbon Park. However, even at this station, the men’s queue to enter the station now stretches onto the footpath outside the station while the ladies’ queue goes up to the lane leading to the station.
S Aravind, employed at iDeCK on Lavelle Road, uses the Metro every working day to travel between Baiyappanahalli and Cubbon Park. “The wait to enter the Metro station has become longer for the past six days. I always board the train after 5.30 pm, but I never had to wait like this,” he told The New Indian Express. Ammu, another commuter heading to Baiyappanahalli said, “I asked the security personnel why we were suddenly being frisked like this. I was told they were double checking everything for safety reasons.”
A Metro staffer, on condition of anonymity, said private security guards, Home Guards and Karnataka State Industrial Security Force had been asked to intensify the checks due to the recent incident at KSR station. “We used to ignore the beeps caused by watches, mobiles or key chains earlier. Now, we make them remove these articles before scrutinising them.”
A senior security official said, “The overall security protocol is being upgraded. We are also training new personnel and retraining existing staff. This intensive check is set to become a norm in future.”
BMRCL Chief Public Relations Officer Y L Chavan said, “Any additional checking is always done only for the sake of passenger’s safety.”
Metro service hit
Metro train services were disrupted between 11.30 am and 12 noon on Wednesday on its Purple Line between Swami Vivekananda Road and Baiyappanahalli Metro stations. Y L Chavan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), told Express that there was some blackening in the insulation of the Third Rail at Swami Vivekananda station. “Work on setting it right was undertaken and operations were stopped as an emergency measure. Regular services were run between the other end of the Purple Line, between Mysuru Road and Indira Nagar stations.”