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Spot more khaki on stations tomorrow

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
By Jagruti Verma

Ganesh Chaturthi is an important festival for the city and the lifeline cannot remain untouched as lakhs hop from pandal to pandal, seeking blessings of the elephant-God. While Mumbaikars prepare for the celebratory joy, the khaki-clad, gun-borne personnel too are all set to keep mishaps away. Throughout the next eleven days, you can expect tight security at sensitive suburban stations.

“There will be sufficient bandobast at stations to ensure crowd management and safety of devotees and commuters,” said Purushottam Karad, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Government Railway Police (GRP). He added that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Dadar and Panvel are critical stations as long distance Konkan-bound Ganpati special trains are a priority in terms of security concerns.

The GRP will focus on ensuring that thefts don't take place as well as that people are not inconvenienced while travelling. “We expect a heavy footfall at Byculla, Chinchpokli and Currey Road stations as most devotees travelling to seek blessings of Lalbaugcha Raja arrive at these stations from different parts of the city,” added Karad.

On the Western Line, stations close to the Chowpatty are expected to have a heavy bandobast by Railway Protection Force (RPF). “We will deploy more personnel at stations like Churchgate, Charni Road, Marine Lines and Mumbai Central,” said Anup Shukla, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, WR, adding that Charni Road is the most important one, being the closest.

On Central Railway, the RPF will be deployed in higher numbers at CSMT, Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Diva and Roha, to ensure crowd management. “Konkan-bound Ganpati special trains are a priority as they are jam-packed with passengers,” said Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, CR. “We have to ensure that these trains depart safely,” he added.

“There are two types of bandobast that we have to take care of. One is the night of 12th when the departing long distance trains are a priority and the other is from 13th till the Visarjan day when our focus will be on the suburban stations,” said Bhalode. Among the stations in focus for Lalbaugcha Raja, more RPF personnel will be deployed at Chinchpokli and Currey Road.

Though Byculla is another important station, it is big enough to handle the crowd, said Bhalode. Apart from the stations, personnel will be deployed at level crossing gates at Chunabhatti, Kalwa, Ambivali and Karjat as Ganpati processions usually pass through these crossings. When asked if CCTV cameras will be monitored more closely during these days, Bhalode said, “It won't help as the only thing that really works in situations like these is the physical presence of a cop in uniform.”

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