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New security set-up for Kolkata Metro

Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA: With mounting fear of terrorist strikes and a perceived threat at major installations, the country's oldest metro railway service is gearing up with a major revamp of its security system.

“An integrated security system will be put in place that will upgrade existing security systems and include new equipment including baggage scanners, night-vision devices, explosive detectors, bomb suppression blankets and bomb baskets,” a senior official of the Kolkata Metro Railway told The Hindu on Friday.

The Rs. 25-crore project is a part of the plan to improve security of the railways across the country and the equipment being purchased is according to the directions of the Ministry of Railways, he said.

While an additional 500 close circuit television cameras will be installed at the 21 metro stations, sophisticated software will monitor the feed from the cameras. The software is capable of analysing the data and indicating suspicious behaviour. New metal detectors, both door frame and hand held, will also be introduced, he added.

The number of trained sniffer dogs is also going to be increased, he said.

In the aftermath of the recent fire tragedy at Stephen Court in the city, the Metro railway authorities are also revamping the fire protection system. “We are modernising the fire tenders and fire fighting equipment and also evaluating the fire detection alarm system along the tunnels as well as at the stations,” he said.

The Metro Railway employees are also undergoing training on how to react in a crisis situation, whether a terror threat or a fire.

“There will be greater automation at the entry points of the stations, but Metro railway authorities are also contemplating increasing the number of security personnel deployed at the stations,” he said. Currently the number of security personnel deployed, including the Railway Protection Force and the Kolkata Police and State Police, is 800.

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