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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 April 2024 12.55 AM IST

270 railway murders, no CCTV, no police: Train journey becoming nightmare

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Train passengers are worried as even TTE has no security on the train. The promise of a toll-free number, police system, mobile app and CCTV on the train has failed. TTE Vinod was killed near Thrissur while trying to catch a drunk and ticketless passenger. After Soumya's murder, there was a security system on the trains for a few days but then it disappeared. According to the passenger association, the reduction of general coaches after COVID-19 and the elimination of the travel facility for season ticket passengers in de-reservation coaches has led to general ticket passengers rushing into reservation coaches. Delays also lead to women passengers being isolated at stations and coaches at late hours. There is also a complaint that the train being halted for a long time in places where there is no station or light in the name of buffer timing is paving the way for attackers and drunkards to enter the train and commit violence. Another allegation is that the excess of migrant workers is a threat to the safety inside the trains.

V Anilkumar, assistant secretary and former chief ticket examiner of SRMU, the main organization of employees, said that the problems are due to the reduced number of employees. The number of trains and services increased but the number of employees did not increase accordingly. RPF service is nominal. TTEs do their work without any security. Only 450 TTEs are working where about 800 TTEs are required. 30% of them are women. In the past, three coaches were looked after by one TTE. The TTEs were also able to help each other and the RPF was also there. However now, a TTE has to take care of up to eight coaches. Many trains have only one TTE. A squad system is in place to look after those travelling without a ticket. They are only raising revenue by catching ticketless people and not ensuring the safety of passengers.

The proposal to install CCTV was raised last year when there was an increase in thefts and incidents of burning trains. The High Court was also in favour. Fearing financial liability, the railway slacked. CCTV systems have been installed in 861 railway stations and 5882 railway coaches, including eleven stations in Kerala.

270 Railway Murders

270 railway-related murders were reported in the country in one year. There were 18137 incidents of violence and 392 incidents in Kerala alone.

"All legal safety precautions are in place in trains in Kerala. In case of violence, strong action will be taken in coordination with the police. The allegation of reduced number of staff is not factual."

-Official explanation of Railways

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