Chain-pulling delays 25 Central Railway trains every day

Chain-pulling incidents on long-distance trains are behind Central Railway (CR) trains running late during rush hour, said officials.

CR officials concede that since the onset of summer peak season, at least 20 to 25 suburban services run behind schedule daily, said CR officials. “There has been a huge rush on platforms at CST, LTT and Kalyan to board trains, especially those heading towards North Indian, Kokan and Goa. It has been observed that a passenger fails to board a train due to overcrowding in compartments and on platforms,” said a senior CR official.

There have been instances when passengers indulge in Alarm Chain Pulling. The official said, “Most of the incident occurs at CST, LTT or Kalyan. AS a result, the trains gets held up, because of which the train scheduled to leave behind the affected mail/express train also gets held up.”

So far, number of ACP case registered in March and April stood at 134 and 135.

“Fifty-four cases of chain-pulling were registered till May 12. Of these, passengers had a genuine reason to halt the train in only 20-25% instances,” he added. The official said, “In more than 50 per cent of cases, the actual reason for chain pulling in not known as the offender cannot be identified. In suburban train, most of the ACP cases are originate from compartments reserved for handicap commuters. In Long distance trains, the cases are in general as well as reserved classes as many failed to board the train due to late arrival at stations.”

The Railway Protection Force wants the administration to reduce people crowding on platforms due to ensure quicker entry and exit of passengers. “One measure that needs to implemented is stopping the sale of platform tickets,” said an RPF officer.

A total of 11.65 lakh people bought ticket in 2012-13 compared to 9.55 lakh in the preceeding year.

CR runs total of 1,600 services daily, including long-distance trains, from Mumbai. “A chain-pulling incident will delay a train by five to 10 minutes. The loss of time is significant at Suburban trains in Mumbai run at frequency of 4 minutes. A delay of 10 minutes can have cascading effect on other services too.”

More powers for RPF to crack railway property theft cases

Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers have been vested with more powers in respect of investigation of cases relating to theft of railway property or its unlawful possession consequent to the amendments in the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act.

The striking feature of the amended Act is that it has empowered RPF investigators to register a case under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act and commence inquiry upon receipt of information itself.

This is the first time that the Act has been amended after it was enacted by the Parliament and came into force in 1966.

Railway property, as per the Act, includes any goods, money or valuable security or animal, belonging to or in the charge or possession of railway administration.

Prior to the amendment, the RPF officers could register a case under the Act only after an arrest was made and start the inquiry thereafter.

RPF authorities here say Sections 3, 4 and 8 of the Act had been amended by introducing extra words in these three sections.

The crux of the amendment is that the inquiry officer need not wait till the arrest of a person.

The officers have now been empowered to register a case and begin inquiry upon receiving information about the commission of an offence punishable under the Act even without or before the arrest.

The sources of information includes oral complaints, those in writing, reports from railway officials, telephone messages, petitions, press reports and those given by secret sources.

In addition to protecting and safeguarding railway property, passenger area and passengers, the RPF has also been vested with the responsibility of escorting passenger trains and providing access control, regulation and general security on platforms, passenger and circulating areas.

Power to investigate

They have been vested with the powers to investigate cases booked under the Railway Act and the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act.

Even after the amendment, the inquiry officer has the authority to register a case after an arrest is made.

This power has not been taken away by the amendment; a senior RPF officer here said adding that it had given additional powers to the inquiry officer in respect of registration of a case under the Act for better investigation and prosecution.

The number of cases booked under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act in Tiruchi Railway Division was 49 from January to October this year. The number of those arrested was 58 and the value of the stolen property recovered was Rs.74,205.

The cases booked in 2011 (January to December) was 70 with the number of arrested persons being 93. The value of the stolen property recovered was Rs.1.54 lakh, say the authorities.

‘RPF officers could register a case under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act and commence inquiry upon receipt of information about the commission of an offence,’ writes R.Rajaram

RPF might be separated from railways

The Railway Protection Force ( RPF) is likely to be separated from the railways, and some plans are afoot in this regard.

While RPF sources said IB has given some reasons for it, it has not been decided when and how it will be done. But the RPF employees are apprehensive about it.

On some earlier occasions, although discussions on the issue were held, it is for first time when the question raised about separation of RPF from the railways, sources said.

If the IB report is implemented, the Central Government could take a decision to give responsibility of RPF to home ministry by year- end.

IB has raised several questions on the existence of RPF. Sources further said an association has been formed in RPF which is coming in the way of smooth working of the organisation.

Sources further said earlier an exercise was done to merge GRP with the district police but the state governments were opposed the proposal. As a result, the Central Government did not take any initiative towards this direction.

IB said the RPF staff was not properly trained to deal with the crimes taking place on trains.

During the last few years scenario of crime has changed but the RPF team has not changed.

IB further said even after several efforts, the trains and passengers are not safe. Working pattern of GRP has also been mentioned in the proposal. It was said that as two police forces work in the railways, they try to put the blame on each other, sources added. So, proper investigation of crimes could not be done and neither GRP, nor RPF take the responsibility for any crime.

RPF was given status of semi- military force on September 20, 1985 and ever since then it has been working to the status.

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Documentaries against crime to be screened at railway stations

Faced with increased incidents of crimes in passenger trains, the Railways has decided to play documentary films at railway stations to make passengers alert against such practices.

“The initiative has been taken up by the Government Railway Police (GRP) to help passengers remain vigilant and avoid falling into the lure of fellow passengers with evil intentions in mind,”a senior Northern Railway official told PTI.

The first of the screenings to be held in the capital is scheduled for tomorrow at the Old Delhi station. The two documentary films, one having a duration of 45 minutes and the other 10 minutes, are prepared by the GRP Ambala.

” They will be beamed on a projector at a strategic point in the station complex where it is being screened, “said a GRP personnel of Ambala.

“Old Delhi station will be our first stop in the Capital. Thereafter we will also show the films in New Delhi station,” he said.

He said such screenings have been done in several railway stations in Haryana and evoked an overwhelming response.

The 10-minute film also contains messages of well-known faces like Kiran Bedi, advising passengers on several security related issues, he said.