Hyderabad: Safety at Metro Rail stations has become a matter of grave concern with a man committing suicide and a woman attempting to take her life in separate incidents in a span of three days. Besides, there have been instances of security guards being beaten up.
Despite having 64 CCTV cameras in the station and about 15 security personnel, the incidents couldn’t be averted. There are at least five security personnel deployed for baggage scanning. The remaining personnel are posted either on the street or the concourse levels. Often it was found that two security guards are deputed at the street level covering 200 metres of the station on either side which has four gates.
On the concourse level not many station assistants are found apart from baggage scanning personnel. On the platforms, one or two station assistants are typically seen though Ameerpet station has more.
Previously, station assistants were deployed in huge numbers to assist people but were later removed after the people got used to travelling in the Metro Rail.
HMRL managing director N.V.S Reddy said, “It is too early to generalise based on the incidents, it cannot be said to have become the norm. We are assessing and have asked L&T to examine the situation and see if there is a need to increase surveillance.”
On deploying station assistants, Mr Reddy said they would examine the issue as “we do not want to put too many restrictions on commuters.”
Dismissing claims of dearth of security, he said a couple of unfortunate incidents not result in changing the overall strategy which had worked for the city. HMRL has put up a mesh at the Paradise station to avoid people from entering the station through the flyover. Mr Reddy said the level of railings cannot be increased, but HMRL would study all options.
About 100 station assistants who used to guide people to stay behind from the yellow line on the platforms and avoid crossing the track were removed in February by the contracting agency, TRIG. This resulted in people breaking the rules and crossing the track.
Even security guards are being beaten up at the parking and station premises when they try to ask people to follow the rules. At the Habsiguda station, hotels have been misusing the HMRL parking facility for valet parking. When guards stopped them, they were threatened and beaten up.