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Today Date : Saturday, June 22, 2024

Of laxity in train  passengers’  security!

Of laxity in train passengers’ security!

On June 24, 2016, Swathi, a software engineer, was brutally hacked to death at Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai. Following this incident, the Madras High Court took up the matter on its own initiative to ensure security at important places in the state. The Chief Justice's bench is hearing the public interest case.
The case came up for hearing a few months ago in the sitting of the present Chief Justice Gangapurwala, Justice Adikesavalu. At that time, the judges adjourned the hearing to September 27, noting that even recently a woman had been assaulted at a railway station and expressing displeasure that railway stations were favorable places for crime to take place. The case came up for rehearing before a bench comprising the same judges.
At that time, a report was filed by the Railway Department that out of total 442 railway stations in Tamil Nadu only 35 railway stations have surveillance cameras and remaining 407 railway stations will be equipped with surveillance cameras in the financial year 2024 & -25. The judges condemned the report as showing the railway administration's lack of concern for the safety of railway stations.
When the judges questioned why it was taking such a long time to install the surveillance cameras, the railway department explained that the funds for installing the surveillance cameras were provided in installments and this time was required. The judges advised that the process of installation of surveillance cameras should be expedited in the railway stations, and ordered the railway department not to give reason for such matters to finance, and to avoid future incidents, and to inform the court of the timetable for the installation of surveillance cameras, and adjourned the hearing of the case to next month.The railway administration has unabashedly stated in the High Court that there is no fund for cameras in the railway stations. Why is the railway administration, which is collecting crores of revenue by cancelling even the fare concession given to senior citizens, not prioritizing the safety of passengers? Passengers are not allowed to play with their lives.
People have started thinking that things will happen only if the court intervenes. Then why the government? Why Railway Minister? Why IAS Secretaries? General Managers?It is a matter of shame that seven and a half years after Swathi's brutal murder, even 10 percent of railway stations are not equipped with surveillance cameras.Authorities should at least try to comply with court orders.
Immediately install cameras at all railway stations in Tamil Nadu.
Do not be complacent!