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Senior Correspondent, IFSEC Global

August 11, 2015


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Nine Years Since the Mumbai Train Bombings and STILL no Baggage Scanners at Local Train Stations

Western Railways Still without Baggage Scanners Even Nine Years past the 2006 Train BombingsMumbai’s local trains are still without baggage scanners as the city marks the ninth anniversary of  the Mumbai train bombings.

As a result entry and exit points at various stations are still vulnerable. Western Railways is still facing the dearth of critical security technology such as the baggage scanners.

Railway activists have accused authorities of apathy in their approach towards passenger security, warning that almost 80,000 users travelling daily are vulnerable and that their security should be assigned highest possible priority.

In the tragic 2006 terror strike seven local trains travelling between Mahim and Bhayandar stations were bombed, which claimed the lives of 189 people and injured about 829 passengers.

Subsequently, the railway created a security plan for 136 railway stations and their 469 platforms which fell under its jurisdiction.

Under the Integrated Security System (ISS) programme the Western Railway installed high-end CCTV cameras at important stations. Baggage scanners were also installed, especially for long-distance trains.

Today, however, not a single Western Railway station is equipped with a baggage scanner. “The process of acquiring baggage scanners has been delayed for several reasons, including paucity of funds and the failure of suppliers to adhere to specifications of the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO),” said Anand Jha, senior divisional security commissioner, Railway Protection Force (Western Railway).

“However, tenders to acquire four scanners have now been floated and we should get them in the coming quarter.”

To find out more about the latest in transport security and the physical security industry register for IFSEC Southeast Asia 2015, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur from 2-4 September. Click here to visit the event website for more information.

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