Staff shortage hits Railway Protection Force badly in Kerala

The number of RPF staff in Kerala is less than 400.

Kozhikode: The Railway Protection Force, which has been striving hard to ensure the safety of the travelling public, is hit by shortage of staff and limited powers. The Southern Railway has only a single battalion and Kerala has only two divisions – one in Palakkad and the other in Thiruvananthapuram. The number of RPF staff in Kerala is less than 400.

“However, the undercover officers travelling from Palakkad to Mangalore have handled many cases effectively” said an official. “In case of any difficulty, the public should utilise the helpline number 182, which will be connected to the nearest RPF office,” he said.

The RPF has the power only to receive complaints and arrest the accused, the official said. “Complaints received on RPF security helpline are forwarded to the Government Railway Police (GRP). The cases of crime on railways are reported to the GRP which register and investigate them. The RPF supplements the GRP efforts by deploying their staff,” he said.

The RPF, introduced in 1957, was aimed at protecting the passengers. During the tenure of the last UPA government, an RPF battalion was also formed for the safety of women passengers. The security helpline system launched by the railway through the RPF provides round-the-clock security assistance to passengers all over the country, especially to women in distress.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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