Railways to recruit 17000 RPF constables
Railways on Wednesday said it is taking measures like recruitment of thousands of personnel, launching of a dedicated helpline and installation of CCTV cameras at major railway stations to meet the growing security demands posed by an ever-expanding network of trains.

Security onboard trains is jointly taken care of by the RPF, which is directly controlled by the Railways and the GRP which is under the control of respective state governments, Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal said.

The Railways also bear half of the expenses incurred by GRP in maintaining its operations, he said, adding, "We are going to recruit 17,000 constables in the next three months in order to strengthen the RPF."

"We would welcome and support any proposals received from respective state governments for strengthening of GRP as well," he told reporters here.

The Railway Board Chairman was here to conduct a "full (Railway) Board review" of the North Central Railway (NCR) headquartered in the city, North Eastern Railway (NER) headquartered at Gorakhpur and East Central Railway (ECR) which has its headquarters at Hajipur in Bihar.

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"Our efforts aimed at ensuring better security arrangements are not limited to recruiting personnel. We are also making use of modern technology and connecting all major stations through an integrated security system."

An important part of this system is installation of CCTV cameras wherein footage can be stored for up to one month.

This would be an effective detriment to crime at stations and may also be of immense help in investigation of offences, Mittal said.

Besides, a special helpline for security demands related to Railways has also been started. Any passenger can just dial 182 and his call would be connected to the RPF control room that may be closest to the spot where the train might be running at the time of an offence being committed.

"No unit in the Railways functions in isolation. To eradicate a problem in any particular zone, it often becomes imperative to involve other nearby zones also. Hence, we reviewed all the three zones together," Mittal said.

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"We observed that punctuality was the biggest issue at NCR where the traffic is nearly thrice of what is deemed to be normal. We do hope to bring about improvements in this direction especially since the last budget has allocated huge funds, about nearly three times the previous ones, for doubling of tracks," the Railway Board Chairman said.