Scanners at rly stations weren’t a necessity

SJ: We were asked to put up the machines and we did it. It was not a necessity. The baggage-scanning machine at CST will be used, especially for parcels and luggage compartment.

SWATEE KHER: What purpose have the metal detectors at entrances to stations served? Commuters easily bypass these.

SJ: We cannot stop passengers from easy access. If security is tightened at entrances, it will lead to a stampede. These metal detectors are useful when the situation is critical, in which case police are instructed to check minutely.

SUKANYA SHETTY: CR has provided a special helpline number for women commuters. But we have seen many instances where help is not made available in a timely manner and several women claim the helpline is inefficient.

SJ: That is not the case. We have provided as much service as possible. In fact, government railway police personnel provide help instantly. It is never the case that there is no response to calls on the helpline. There have been instances where trivial complaints such as beggars entering trains have been made. Women commuters expect our personnel to shoo away beggars. Commuters should understand the deployment is for security.

MANASI PHADKE: Agencies implementing infrastructure projects in Mumbai say several times delay in clearances from railways holds up projects. A recent example could be Santacruz-Chembur Link Road where clearances from CR to build bridges over suburban railway tracks took years. Can a permanent solution be worked out to speed up infrastructure projects?

SJ: Give me one instance where CR hasn't issued clearance within a month. We don't keep such proposals pending. If we think the designs need to be changed as per safety requirements we tell the agencies. The commissioner of railway safety takes time to study the designs before approving as it is their job to look at safety issues. The delay is also from the side of the agencies. We gave clearances to Santacruz-Chembur Link Road a few months ago, but they still haven't started work.

... contd.

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